The Brooklyn Nets couldn’t follow up on their upset of the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks, falling 149-115 to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.
With an opportunity to lock up their playoff spot after the Washington Wizards lost earlier in the day, the Nets couldn’t contain the Celtics, who broke the game open in the second quarter and went on to shoot 56.3 percent, including 51.3 percent from 3-point range.
Jeremiah Martin led the Nets with a career-high 20 points, Joe Harris had 14, and Caris LeVert and Dzanan Musa each scored 13. Jarrett Allen and Donta Hall had 11 each, with Allen grabbing eight rebounds.
“Obviously, tough game for us,” said Harris. “We came out and played with the same energy we had the last two games. Then, we kind of got away from what led to a lot of our successes these last two games. We didn’t rebound the ball well, we didn’t defend well, a lot of turnovers, not a lot of assists. We weren’t making that extra pass that we have been, and there were a lot of 50-50 balls that we didn’t get either. We just got outworked. Against a team is obviously just more talented, you’re going to lose the way we did.
The Nets trailed 71-52 at halftime as the Celtics came out knocking down 3-pointers, shooting 41.7 percent in the first half.
Brooklyn went possession-for-possession early, and after a Rodions Kurucs 3-pointer and a tough drive by Chris Chiozza, led 24-23 with 2:21 to go in the first quarter. But the Celtics sprinted away with a 21-1 run over the next four minutes to go up 43-25 just 1:45 into the second quarter, leading by as many as 21 points before taking a 19-point edge into the break.
Boston didn’t let up in the third quarter, stretching its lead to 30 points in the final minute of the quarter and taking a 106-77 lead into the fourth.