Bruce Bennett

Nets 102, Celtics 97: Boston stumbles without Rondo in Brooklyn

Courtney Lee had 13 points and nine rebounds, but the Boston Celtics fell to the Brooklyn Nets, 102-97, in their first meeting from Barclays Center on Thursday night in Brooklyn, NY.

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Nets 102, Celtics 97: Boston stumbles in Brooklyn

Paul Pierce had 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists as the Boston Celtics fell to the Brooklyn Nets, 102-97, in their first meeting at the Barclays Center on Thursday night in Brooklyn, NY.

Brooklyn opened up the half scoring at will and moving the ball effectively, while taking a 13-point lead. With the game slipping away, Boston used a 16-2 run to get back into the game led by their captain, Pierce. The veteran forward had 11 in the the third as the Celtics took their first lead of the night, 73-71, with just under four minutes remaining in the quarter.

Despite their defensive anchor, Kevin Garnett, resting throughout the end of the third, Boston finished off a 20-2 run to close the quarter, leading 79-74.

Brooklyn would use a 9-2 run in the fourth quarter to take a two-point lead with just over three minutes to go in the game thanks to a Joe Johnson bucket. Jeff Green made a huge play on the defensive end, forcing a travel with Boston down four, only to come back and hit a monster trey with under a minute remaining to cut the lead to one. The Nets would hit free throws at the other end, taking a three-point lead with 43 seconds remaining.

Pierce had a shot to cut the deficit to one, but missed both attempts at the charity stripe, allowing the Nets to notch free throws at the other end and close out the night.

Without Rajon Rondo out due to a sprained right ankle, the Celtics used a combination of Leandro Barbosa, Courtney Lee, Jason Terry and Green to replace the ball-handler. Barbosa got a majority of the minutes for Boston as a starting point guard, while Lee had a breakout game of sort, scoring 13 points and grabbing nine boards off the bench.

In eight games this season, Rondo is averaging a Total Point Guard Rating of 32.2. In his place, Barbosa, who saw the most minutes of any Boston player at point guard, checked in with a 17.51 rating for the night. Barbosa was solid on the offensive end, registering 17 points, two assists, two rebounds and two steals, but was mediocre on the defensive end of the floor and struggled throughout the first half against Deron Williams.

As a team, the Celtics had 17 assists on the night. By himself, Rondo has 10 or more assists consecutively over the past 32 games.

Boston hit 46 percent of their shots from the field, while Brooklyn connected on 42 percent of their attempts.

Brook Lopez and Williams led the Nets with 24 points each and Kris Humphries had a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.

Boston will have a chance to get another win on the year when they match up with the Toronto Raptors Saturday from the TD Garden at 12:30 pm ET.


Final - 11.15.2012 1 2 3 4 Total
Boston Celtics 26 24 29 18 97
Brooklyn Nets 31 28 15 28 102

Complete Coverage >



For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit our team blog, Celtics Blog.

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Nets 59, Celtics 50: Boston interior struggling

Leandro Barbosa has 10 points and two assists at the half as Boston Celtics trail the Brooklyn Nets, 59-50, as they meet for the first time at the Barclays Center on Thursday night in Brooklyn, NY.

From the beginning of the first quarter Barbosa struggled defending Brooklyn's All-Star point guard, Deron Williams, forcing the Celtics rotate in order to double. This opened up the lane and allowed Brook Lopez to have his way on this inside against the undersized Boston interior. At the end of the first quarter, Williams had dished out five assists, while scoring five points. Lopez notched a game-high 10 points in the first frame, allowing Brooklyn to jump out to a 31-26 lead.

With Williams sitting to start the second quarter, Boston used a run, sparked by Courtney Lee's electric play off the bench, to tie the game at 38-38 with 6:20 remaining in the half. The Celtics were able to focus on individual assignments and get out in transition with the star guard on the bench. With Williams back in the game though, the Nets offense was back to business as usual, extending the lead yet again.

After scoring just 10 points in his last three games, Lee scored nine in the first half.

Boston had six turnovers in the first quarter, but settled down in the second quarter, only turning the ball over only one more time in the half. The Nets out-rebounded the Celtics, 24-17, and had an absurd 14 offensive boards on the Boston interior.

Despite leading, Brooklyn connected on only 45 percent of their shots, while Boston hit 54 percent of their attempts.




For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit our team blog, Celtics Blog.

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Celtics vs. Nets: Boston does battle with Brooklyn

Rajon Rondo is still a game-time decision as the Boston Celtics take on the Brooklyn Nets for the first time at the Barclays Center on Thursday night in Brooklyn, NY.

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