What a difference 48 hours makes.
After crushing the Nets at TD Garden on Friday, the Celtics suffered what may end up being their worst defeat of the season, 111-101 at Brooklyn (3-11). Considering the C’s (7-6) own the Nets‘ first-round pick, the loss is twice as tough to swallow.
The Celtics closed the third quarter on an 18-6 run, trimming a Nets lead as large as 22 in the first half to single digits entering the final frame. The C’s pulled within four in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t get over the hump. They never led.
The Celtics started sloppy. Ten of their 17 turnovers came in the first half, and they couldn’t get into an offensive rhythm until the third quarter. But Brooklyn held firm in the fourth, shooting 50.6 percent for the game and out-rebounding the C’s, 49-35.
Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas both scored 27 points to lead the Celtics. And Evan Turner added 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Brook Lopez (23 points, 10 rebounds) and Thaddeus Young (11 points, 11 rebounds) each recorded a double-double for the Nets, who won for just the third time in 14 games this season.
For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on. STUD OF THE NIGHT: Avery Bradley.
Bradley scored nine points (all 3-pointers) during the 18-6, third-quarter run and was a reliable option whenever the Celtics needed buckets. He scored 27 points on 9-of-20 shooting, including 7-of-14 from distance. He added four rebounds and two steals.
DUD OF THE NIGHT: Amir Johnson.
Johnson was a minus-17 on the night and didn’t provide the Celtics much of anything in 18 minutes of play. He scored two points and didn’t grab a single rebound. Celtics coach Brad Stevens turned to Tyler Zeller in the second half, and the backup center chipped in five points, an offensive rebound and one assist in seven minutes.
VINE OF THE NIGHT:
WHINE OF THE NIGHT: Marcus Smart’s health.
With Bradley in the starting lineup for the injured Marcus Smart (out 1-2 weeks), the Celtics’ bench missed its new sixth man. Aside Turner and Kelly Olynyk (eight points
While Marcus Smart is going to be out for 1-2 weeks, the Celtics’ bench really missed Avery Bradley tonight. Aside from Turner’s 13 and Kelly Olynyk (8 points), the Celtics didn’t get much production from their reserves. Stevens may be turning to Zeller more often if David Lee (0-for-3) has another scoreless outing.
STAT OF THE NIGHT: 3-point shooting.
The Celtics’ 3-point shooting cut into Brooklyn’s 22-point lead and sparked a 14-2 run in the third quarter. The Celtics shot 37.8 percent on 14-of-37 shooting from behind the arc. They entered the game shooting 31.3 percent from distance, which ranked 22nd in the league, so Sunday’s 3-point effort was a welcome sign in an unwelcome outcome.
@ OF THE NIGHT: