The Algebra of the Game: Celts elude Nets’ mousetrap, streak reaches 13
All the circumstances surrounding our C’s little jaunt down to the Big Apple for a Tuesday tilt with one of the Association’s weaker sisters spelled just one thing – Trap Game. Horford’s headache and Irving’s facial fragility were addressed. The C’s entourage hadn’t seen Logan Airport in over a week.
Oh, and a home showdown with the reigning-and-defendings looming.
The Celtics were coming off three home wins in which they’d overcome overall 38% FG shooting, but had outplayed the other guys by an average of three conversions in those Q4’s to eke out victory …
… and for the first six minutes and 11 possessions, the game played out like a glorified Pop-a-Shot contest. Nothing but FG attempts and defensive boards – no OR’s or TO’s. Brooklyn took the only three Q1 free throws.
Including the Nets last night, Boston’s last four opponents have all shot 50+% from the field during Q2 – while they were missing 63% of their own. Brad’s boys did work their way to nine FTA’s, but a three-point lead after 12 minutes had become a six-point deficit at the intermission.
Again, the Stevens sermonizing seemed to straighten the shooting (10-22 in Q3) and stiffen the D. After an opening 9-5 Net scoring burst had opened a double-digit lead, Brooklyn would go on to shoot 4-19 the rest of the quarter.
The home team’s final flurry came as Q4 opened, a 10-2 spurt. But Boston shut ‘em down on their next six trips while converting five of their own. Brooklyn remained feisty till the end, but the C’s grit had a response for each parry, never allowing their lead to shrink below two possessions.
Over the game’s final 5:12 and 13 possessions, the Celtics attempted just one (unsuccessful) 3FG while Brooklyn went four-for-eight from three-point land.