The Brooklyn Nets have taken a clear win at the Boston Celtics. In the duel between two of the most recently strongest teams in the Eastern Conference, only one was really present for a long time. Kevin Durant reached a significant career milestone with the 123: 104 success.
Boston Celtics (10-9) – Brooklyn Nets (14-5) 104:123 (BOXSCORE)
With his first basket of the game, Durant overtook Allen Iverson and moved up to 25th place in the list of the best scorers in NBA history. The two-time finals MVP finished the game with 21 points and 8 assists and could actually have finished earlier if the Celtics hadn’t put in another run at the end of the third quarter after being 29 points behind.
“Iverson, this is a player who was in the Pantheon for me. One of the guys I tried to imitate every day,” said Durant. “It’s amazing to be able to get past him on this list and to be next to all these players at all. I just have to keep going.”
The top scorer of the Nets was Patty Mills, who scored 23 points (7/10 threesome), James Harden had 20 and 11 assists, LaMarcus Aldridge started and contributed 17 points. The story of the game was ultimately told quickly: Brooklyn hit throws (50.6 percent from the field, 40 percent from the triple line), Boston did not (37.4 and 22.9 percent, respectively). So Boston could not build on the last good form with eight wins from eleven games.
Marcus Smart was still the best Celtic with 20 points, Jayson Tatum had 15 (4/16 FG, 1/9 3FG), Jaylen Brown had 13 points (5/15, 0/8). Dennis Schröder was still the best bank player with 10 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists, but he had no luck in throwing either (3/10, 1/5). Even the most open litters were awarded in rows by the Celtics.
Patty Mills starts flawlessly from downtown
Smart, Brown, Tatum, Grant Williams and Horford started with the hosts, on the opposite side the game opened, as recently against Cleveland Harden, Mills, Bembry, Durant and Aldridge. And Mills became the player from the first minutes: after just under four minutes, the other noble reservist had already sunk three threes, and Celtics coach Udoka took the first time-out.
Brooklyn was initially the better team and briefly led in the first quarter with 11 points. In the middle of the round, however, Boston found a better place in the game with Schröder, the gap melted to 4 points before Durant pushed the pressure again. Boston hit only 2 of 13 three-pointers in the first quarter, they went into the quarter break with 29:22.
Durant sat on the bench for the first time, but Brooklyn persisted. Mills hit his next threesome, then Harden followed suit, while nothing was going on the other side. The Nets were quick as lightning with 40:25, the Celtics continued to have big problems with the throw. Schröder hit a triple from the corner, but Brooklyn maintained a double-digit lead almost permanently.
Shortly before the break, Williams placed another three-point in the corner to -9, but Thomas had the answer from the free-throw line and then blocked Schröder, although the layup was actually already on the board and should therefore have been a goaltending. Aldridge from the midrange put it at 62:49.
The Celtics’ attempt at comeback is quickly stifled
In the third quarter, the familiar picture emerged: Brooklyn came out of the break much better and gained a 21-point lead with an 11: 3 run, which was the highest of the evening until then. Harden hit a threesome and twice found Aldridge for more jumpers, on the other hand the Celtics seemed mostly busy with the referees. Mills hit his fifth threesome for a 28-point lead.
The quarter degenerated for a long time to the dismantling of the Celtics and it seemed foreseeable early on that the hosts would not recover from it. But at the end of the third, the action tipped: Boston finally found energy with a lineup of Schröder, Smart, Langford, Tatum and Parker and put down a 17-0 run across the quarter. The hall was awake again, the Nets stars had to toil again after the game seemed already decided.
However, Boston couldn’t get any closer than 12 points. Last doubts were cleared around four minutes before the end: Durant found Mills for his next three, Harden added two free throws and a stepback three. After the fast 8-0 run it was again 21 points, a little later the starters were finally taken off the court.
“That was a good away win against a team that played really well recently,” said Nets coach Steve Nash. The Nets have now won 12 of their last 14 games.