The Boston Celtics start the first of a quick two-game road trip as they take on a team with the worst record in the league, the Brooklyn Nets (13-54). Unfortunately, the C's will be without their star player Isaiah Thomas. With I.T gone, both Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier will be expected to fill the void. With the Lakers and Suns set to tank for the number one pick, the Celtics can really help their lottery odds with a win.
Marcus Smart starting in place of Isaiah Thomas tonight. #CelticsTalk— Abby Chin (@tvabby) March 17, 2017
Brooklyn came out of the gate firing from deep, while Boston was running their offense through big-man Al Horford. The Nets opened up with a five point lead, forced Brad Stevens to take a quick timeout.
Without IT, Celtics starters open 2 for 7 from the field. All seven points courtesy Al Horford (one post-up bucket, two nice passes)— Jay King (@ByJayKing) March 17, 2017
Celtics open game shooting 20 percent (2-of-10) without Thomas.— Brian Robb (@CelticsHub) March 17, 2017
Following their slow start, the C's were able to go on a 11-0 run to take back the lead. Good team defense and rotations kept the Nets scoreless for a little over five mintues after their quick 12 points. From that point on, the first quarter ended sloppy for both sides. Missed shots and turnovers kept the score relatively low after one, 21-16.
The Celtics hold Brooklyn to 28.6% shooting during the 1st quarter and hold a 21-16 lead. Crowder, Horford and Bradley have 5 points apiece.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 18, 2017
The second quarter began with both teams trading quick baskets followed by a lot of misses, neither squad could really get anything going. With 7:52 remaining, Boston only leads Brooklyn by four, 26-22. Both sides were shooting under 30% from the field at this time in the game, the C's went whole five mintues without scoring a single point.
Whoever is tracking scoring droughts for @CSNNE tonight should get a raise.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) March 18, 2017
Near the end of second quarter there was nothing really worth mentioning besides the obvious hole Isaiah leaves when he isn't able to play. To get a better sense of this game, the Celtics had the same amount of rebounds as the Nets had points (27). Shots eventually started to fall as the scoring somewhat picked up during the last few mintues leading up to halftime.
Though first half wasn't pretty the Celtics still got the job done, leading by seven. Boston needs to limit their turnovers after the eight giveaways they had going into the half. Avery Bradley leads all scorers with 11, while Jae Crowder put in a solid 7 points with 8 rebounds.
Boston's defense continues to smother the Nets, as it heads into the half with a 45-37 lead. Bradley has 11 pts; Crowder has 7 pts & 8 rebs. pic.twitter.com/eCjY19kEVp— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 18, 2017
Seems like a good time to point this out:— Jay King (@ByJayKing) March 18, 2017
Cs without Isaiah Thomas on the court: 99.8 ORtg, which would be the league's worst.
Three minutes into the third quarter the Nets got hot, retaking the lead with a deep Jeremy Lin triple. Thanks to a 12-3 Brooklyn run, Stevens took a much needed timeout to regroup. Out of the huddle the C's took back the advantage, playing behind an eight point third quarter from Crowder.
Horford absorbs the contact and gets it to fall! pic.twitter.com/3X7o7Fksph— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 18, 2017
Another Celtics run, 11-1, gave them a 10-point edge late into the third. Jae Crowder earned himself a double-double through the first three, putting in 15 points and grabbing 11 boards.
Boston heads into the fourth quarter with a 71-65 advantage over the Nets. Jae Crowder is leading the way with 15 points and 11 rebounds.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 18, 2017
Almost immediately in the final quarter of play the Nets drill three shots from beyond the arc. This big swing in momentum gave them a 74-71 lead with ten minutes left to go in the contest.
Celtics' point guards are shooting a combined 3-of-21 tonight without Isaiah.— Brian Robb (@CelticsHub) March 18, 2017
Gerald Green provided so much needed scoring off the bench, drilling his first two shots in the fourth. Crowder then re-entered the game after a hard collision with Quincy Acy, nailing a clutch three to give them back a lead. Big offensive plays continued for the C's, huge shots from Crowder and Al Horford countered back-to-back Brooklyn threes.
Crowder with the driving dunk and now has 23 points, 12 rebounds and four 3-pointers. BOS 90, BRK 85 with 2:52 left.— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) March 18, 2017
With less than a minute left, the Celtics had two different one possession leads with Smart on the line. Marcus finished with his best I.T impersonation, going 4-for-4 from the line.
Smart calmly sinks both FTs. BOS 95, BRK 91 with 24.1 left. BRK ball.— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) March 18, 2017
Now Avery Bradley is fouled with 9.1 left.— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) March 18, 2017
The Celtics snag a 98-95 win in Brooklyn behind a 24-point, 12-rebound performance by Jae Crowder. Bradley chipped in with 16 pts & 5 rebs. pic.twitter.com/88dATEv7Wt— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 18, 2017
Player of the game: Jae Crowder (24pts/12rebs)
Photo Credit: Nathaniel Butler
Spencer Tawes 3/17/2017 10:10:00 PM Tweet Edit