The Boston Celtics met the Brooklyn Nets in a primetime TNT game for their first game back post-All-Star break. Despite what Charles Barkley had to say about the C’s, they’ve been on fire since Christmas day.
The Hall of Famer actually picked Brooklyn to win this game.
A key storyline is the injury report for both teams. The Celtics had not a single soul on that report, as everyone was healthy and available to play Thursday night including Robert Williams and Marcus Smart who missed the last few games before the break with injury.
Meanwhile, the Nets were without the services of three of their stars in Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and newly acquired point guard, Ben Simmons. Also, Joe Harris is pending a second ankle surgery that could spell the end of his season and Goran Dragic has not had a chance to practice much with the team.
Many critics of the C’s may see this as an asterisk on their hot streak playing against some injury-riddled teams.
However, here are the facts: the Beantown boys have been banged up and largely not a fully healthy unit until the New Year, and you can only play who’s in front of you.
The expectation for this exhibition was another road game blowout extravaganza, and Boston did not disappoint. They led this game wire-to-wire against Brooklyn.
It started with the sweet-shooting efforts of Marcus Smart who canned three treys in the opener to lead Boston to a 35-22 advantage at the end of the first.
Nets made a few semi-big runs playing through their guards in Bruce Brown and Seth Curry. The Boston Celtics punched back and built on their lead to 15 at the half, 67-50.
The shamrocks would build the lead even further with their free-flowing offensive style and jailhouse defensive schemes to end the third up 97-72. The end of the third saw Jaylen Brown have a scary fall and clutch his wrist.
He would exit the game and not return.
He was seen clapping on the sidelines in the fourth in good spirits when the Gino cast of Bodric Thomas, Aaron Nesmith, Sam Hauser, Luke Kornet, and Daniel Theis all saw floor time.
It was that type of night where the Celtics built on their lead and never looked back. Much to the chagrin of Barkley, I’m sure.
The final score saw the C’s winning 129-106 over the struggling Brooklyn Nets.
Jayson Tatum led the way with 30 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, with Brown adding 18 points for good measure, Smart hitting five triples out of six attempts, and the big men Al Horford and Rob Williams having a pair of double-doubles.
Without further ado, here are 3 takeaways from the Boston Celtics’ blowout win over the Nets: