Final: Celtics 94-82: A solid response after Friday’s debacle in Toronto, the Celtics get a tough win by allowing just 34 points in the second half. Kevin Garnett finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds and Avery Bradley collected his first multiple 3-pointer game of the season.
Fourth quarter, 4:32, Celtics 84-67: The question now is when does coach Doc Rivers pull his starters in preparation for Sunday’s game at Charlotte. Kevin Garnett, after a 21-point, 12-rebound performance is already on the bench. Paul Pierce has 17 for Boston while Rajon Rondo has 14 assists and no turnovers since the first quarter.
End of third quarter, Celtics 74-61: A 9-0 run to begin the quarter and three consecutive Avery Bradley 3-pointers has created some distance but the Celtics can’t relax now. They have been grinding all night offensively but the defense has been stellar. The Nets are 15-for-46 shooting since the first quarter.
Third quarter, 2:57, Celtics 69-57: The Celtics are beginning to consistently knock down shots and Avery Bradley just drained two 3-pointers from the same spot to extend the lead. The Celtics are 9-for-19 shooting in the period, the Nets are 4 of 18.
Third quarter, 8:17, Celtics 55-48: The Celtics are working overtime to get their points. They missed their first five shots of the period but are asserting themselves defensively and causing turnovers. Both teams played last night so fatigue could become a factor. Kevin Garnett has 15 points.
Halftime, Tied at 48: The Celtics were this close to taking a 3-point lead into the break but Gerald Green hit a desperation 31-footer to tie the score. The Celtics’ defense is beginning to play well but you wonder if fatigue will set in. Jordan Williams and Green each have 8 points for New Jersey while Kevin Garnett has 13 and Paul Pierce and Brandon Bass 12 each.
Second quarter, 2:45, Celtics 40-38: The Celtics have finally shown up on defense, holding the Nets to 5-for-15 shooting in the quarter and Rajon Rondo has taken better care of the ball. But it seemed like they were down by 15 and they have worked so hard to rally to take a 2-point lead. Kevin Garnett has 11 points and Paul Pierce 10.
Second quarter, 8:20, Nets 32-30: The Celtics are using Avery Bradley at point guard and the turnovers are down and the ball is moving. Kevin Garnett is enjoying his matchup with Johan Petro. He has 11 points while Paul Pierce has 7.
End of first quarter, Nets 28-22: A shabby performance so far for the Celtics, especially on defense. The Nets shot 63.2 percent (12 for 19) in the quarter, including three layups from Jordan Williams. Rajon Rondo is off to one of his mercurial games with four assists, four turnovers, and two missed free throws.
First quarter, 1:42, Nets 26-20: Another bizarre performance so far by the Celtics, who allowed the Nets to go on a 12-1 run while they look passive and lethargic. Rookie Jordan Williams has 6 points, all on layups after dribble penetration. The Celtics need some defensive adjustments as New Jersey is shooting 68.8 percent (11 of 16).
First quarter, 6:13, Celtics 13-12: The Celtics are playing with more energy than last night but the defense has been subpar so far with Kris Humphries and DeShawn Stevenson combining for 9 points.