Strong 4th quarter sends Celtics past Nets
Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart scored 21 points apiece, and the Boston Celtics dominated the fourth quarter while extending their home winning streak over the Brooklyn Nets to six games with a 112-104 victory on Monday night. The Celtics beat the Nets for the 11th time in the past 12 meetings overall on a night when Kyrie Irving sat out with a strained left hip. Boston coach Brad Stevens said he thought the injury occurred Saturday during the first half of the Celtics' 115-111 home loss to the Golden State Warriors.
Boston blocked 16 shots, its highest total since the 1983-84 season, according to basketball-reference.com. The Celtics held the Nets to 16 points in the fourth period. Brown shot 9 of 15 while Smart made 7 of 15 shots and added seven assists. Aron Baynes added 16 points while Marcus Morris contributed 15 for Boston, which led most of the night and shot 45 percent from the floor.
Celtics forward Al Horford totaled 14 points, 11 rebounds, six blocks and five assists. Terry Rozier started for Irving and collected 14 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. D'Angelo Russell scored 25 points for the Nets, who had their six-game winning streak end. Reserve Shabazz Napier added 20 for Brooklyn, which shot 37.9 percent on field-goal attempts, including 22 of 58 (also 37.9 percent) in the paint.
The Nets tied the game twice in the second quarter, but Boston closed the first half with a 16-6 run over the last 5:10 to grab a 60-50 lead by halftime. Russell scored the last nine point points -- on three 3-pointers -- of an 11-0 run that gave the Nets their first lead at 71-68 with about seven minutes left in the third quarter. However, the Celtics took an 89-88 lead into the fourth on a 16-footer by Rozier with seven seconds left.
The Celtics started the fourth on a 13-2 run and scored 11 straight points in a span of 3:16 to take a 102-90 lead on an uncontested corner 3-pointer by Brown with 7:13 left. The lead stretched to 109-94 on a layup by Smart with 3:48 remaining to essentially seal it. --Field Level Media
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