The Celtics were without some key players for their second preseason game, against defending Euroleague champions Real Madrid. Small forward Perry Jones returned to the United States for a family funeral, Evan Turner sat out with a right knee strain and power forward Amir Johnson was sidelined by an illness that also affected fellow big men David Lee and Jared Sullinger. Madrid was also without two injured stars, former NBA players Rudy Fernández and Jeffery Taylor.
Ultimately Lee was in the starting lineup despite missing the pregame shootaround, along with Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder and Tyler Zeller. After a tightly contested first quarter, the Celtics began to pull away in the second and took a 54-43 lead into the halftime break, aided by Bradley's 12 first-half points on 5-for-10 shooting, 10 from Isaiah Thomas on 4-of-12, and eight points and six boards from Lee. Former L.A. Clipper Trey Thompkins had 12 points on 5-of-9 from the field for the home team.
The Boston offense continued to roll along in the third period, highlighted by some nifty plays by Lee, including this spin move and dunk:
D-Lee spins, wins, and throws down the EMPHATIC JAM on @NBATV! #NBAGlobalGames http://t.co/s7uuCEZwAz— NBA (@NBA) October 8, 2015
By the end of the quarter, Lee had a double double and the C's were well on their way to victory with a 16-point lead.
In the fourth, head coach Brad Stevens emptied his bench, allowing youngsters R. J. Hunter, Jordan Mickey, Terry Rozier and James Young to take the floor. They continued to push the pace, increasing the lead beyond the 20-point mark led by Rozier's 14 points.
Bradley finished with 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting, including 3-for-4 on three-pointers. Thomas had 15 on 6-for-15 from the floor, and Lee recorded 13 points and 11 rebounds. Every Celtic played between 10 and 25 minutes.
For Real, Thompkins had a game-high 24 points. Spanish national team mainstays Sergio Lllull, Felipe Reyes and Sergio Rodríguez contributed 15, 15 and 13 respectively, and veteran Andrés Nocioni added 11 of his own.
With a 2-0 record from their European swing, the Celtics now return stateside for their five remaining preseason matchups, all against Atlantic Division opponents. Next up are the Nets in Brooklyn on Wednesday.
Follow Nick García on Twitter @N_A_Garcia
Image credit: @NBA on Twitter Nick García 10/08/2015 05:27:00 PM Tweet Edit