Recap: Nets 111, Celtics 101 - Nets Return the Favor, Down the Celtics by Double-Digits
Jarrett Jack further cemented his role as the Brooklyn Nets’ go-to option in late-game situations with his 13-point fourth quarter performance to seal the victory over the Boston Celtics on Sunday.
Despite the Celtics putting up 120 points on the Nets earlier in the week Brooklyn showed resilience in returning the favor with a 111-101 victory over Boston on Sunday evening at the Barclays Center.
The Nets found themselves in the familiar role of defending their fourth quarter lead. They have previously failed to hold down the fort against the Warriors and Kings earlier in the season leading to losses. Much of this is due to defenses zeroing in on Lopez late in games and Joe Johnson clearly lacks the consistency and speed he once possessed. Jack is undoubtedly that go-to option late in games in the 2015-16 season.
Jack finished the game with 22 points, fueled by his big fourth quarter when he fearlessly attacked Boston’s weak interior defense. Brooklyn’s offense was paced by Brook Lopez who led the team with 23 points in addition to 10 rebounds to collect his seventh double-double on the year. As a team they shot an uncharacteristically good 50 percent from the field.
Brooklyn began the game with a great defensive first quarter anchored by the energetic rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson who continues to excel after moving into the starting lineup. The 19-year-old was seemingly everywhere on the court as he notched four steals and a ferocious block on David Lee at the rim, helping to hold Boston to just 19 points in the opening quarter.
Hollis-Jefferson finished the game with nine points, seven rebounds, four assists, five steals and one block. That’s what energy is, folks. Using the rookie as an anchor the Nets’ defense was able to hold the Celtics’ offense to 42 percent shooting.
In recent memory the second quarter has been a weak point for this Nets team. They broke the trend Sunday with a 35-point effort in the quarter to give Brooklyn a season-high 17-point lead at halftime.
Despite being without guard Marcus Smart the Celtics had heavy production out of the guard positions. Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas each had 27 points, combining for more than half of the team’s total points. Bradley connected on a career-high seven three-point shots, often due to the Nets routinely leaving him open from deep.
Sunday’s victory over the Celtics improves the Nets’ record to (3-11). Each win has come against teams that made last year’s playoffs.