The Celtics pulled out a gritty 100-97 victory over the Brooklyn Nets Thursday night on the road in their 3rd preseason game. The C's were led by Al Horford and Marcus Smart who had 13 points a piece in a game that felt a lot like a regular season matchup. Luis Scola had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Nets, but it wasn't enough to overcome the resilience of Boston down the stretch. Jaylen Brown scored 4 of their final 6 points, and dished a nasty behind-the-back pass to put the C's up for good:
Jaylen Brown went behind--the-back to Mickey for the one-handed slam to put the C's ahead! pic.twitter.com/KGqJvP5aXC— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 14, 2016
The Nets lead the 1st quarter wire to wire, heading into the 2nd up 27-24. Bojan Bogadonovich led Brooklyn with 6 points on 2 for 3 from the floor. Tempers flared on the Celtics' end as both Brad Stevens and Isaiah Thomas got into it with officials over a few questionable calls:
Whoa. Brad Stevens FRUSTRATED with the officials... very frustrated. it's the preseason for everyone, Brad. @CelticsCSN— Abby Chin (@tvabby) October 13, 2016
Isaiah Thomas gets T'd up. Not getting the All-Star calls during the preseason here so far.— Brian Robb (@CelticsHub) October 13, 2016
Marcus Smart was a menace to the Nets in 2nd quarter, looking like a solid point guard moving the ball around with 4 assists and doing just about everything right on the floor in helping the Celtics surge ahead:
.@celtics Marcus Smart is dishing, diving to the lane and as usual, defending at a high level.— A. Sherrod Blakely (@SherrodbCSN) October 14, 2016
Notice I said "just about"? He was 0-4 from three in the first half:
Marcus Smart looks so good in every facet of his game ... except for his 3-point shooting, which still looks truly bad.— Tom Westerholm (@Tom_NBA) October 14, 2016
The Celtics were able to close out the half up 47-45 with some stellar play from the defense, 5 steals and 5 blocks in the 1st half alone. Al Horford managed to have 11 points on 5-8 from the floor (1-1 from deep) to go along with 8 redbounds in 17 minutes. Maybe the most impressive part of Horford's game was that it seemed to come effortlessly. The offense was barely run through him, and he just seemed to lead the team without ever seeming to be a focal point.
Gerald Green made his first appearance in the 3rd quarter, and he did exactly what this team needs him to do, score. He had 7 points on 3 for 5 from the floor and was the primary ball-handler for the majority of his time out there, a la the dearly departed Evan Turner.
Jonas Jerebko looked stellar playing with the starters and the second unit. He had 12 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal in just 16 minutes. Jonas shot a 4 for 5 from the field (3 of 4 from the outside).
The Celtics starters all exited the game for good by midway through the 3rd quarter. Brooklyn came out with their first unit in the 4th and took the lead with about 7 minutes to go on a Jeremy Lin drive and score. However, the C's managed to hang tough and grab the lead in the final seconds on a fast break led by Terry Rozier and a Jaylen Brown behind-the-back pass that led to a Jordan Mickey slam to give them the lead for good.
The second unit got some great run in a close game that felt more like a regular season matchup than any of the previous games. It was great to see the bench snatch a hard-fought victory when the opportunity arose.
As great that final bucket was, this Smart to Brown alley-oop was the play of the day:
Marcus Smart to Jaylen Brown ✈️ for the alley-oop slam! pic.twitter.com/kbzwlwLcWQ— Boston Celtics (@celtics) October 14, 2016
Photo Credit - Nathaniel S. Butler, GETTY IMAGES
Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkAL401 Mark Allison 10/13/2016 10:13:00 PM Tweet Edit