The Boston Celtics survive with a win over the Brooklyn Nets, 98-95

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Player of the game: Jae Crowder (24pts/12rebs)

Photo Credit: Nathaniel Butler