Boston Celtics

Jan 14, 2019; Brooklyn, NY: Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum and Brooklyn Nets forward Rodions Kurucs fight for a loose ball in the first quarter at Barclays Center. (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)

Jan 14, 2019; Brooklyn, NY: Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum and Brooklyn Nets forward Rodions Kurucs fight for a loose ball in the first quarter at Barclays Center. (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)

The Celtics lost their third straight game on Monday night, falling 109-102 to the Brooklyn Nets despite a career-best 34 points for Jayson Tatum. The dynamic second-year forward shot 12-for-19 from the field, pulled down five rebounds, and blocked three shots at the other end.

However, Boston had no answer defensively for Nets point guard D’Angelo Russell, who also scored 34 points (13-for-26 shooting) to go with seven assists and five rebounds. Brooklyn big man Jarrett Allen scored 19 points of his own and grabbed 12 rebounds. Forward Rodions Kurucs also scored 19 points, on 7-for-11 shooting.

The Nets rode a dominant offensive third quarter to victory, outscoring the Celtics 44-21 in the frame after holding just a one-point lead at halftime. Led by 15 fourth-quarter points for Tatum, all in the final 5:12 of the game, the Celtics battled back to get the score within seven points. It was too little too late, as Brooklyn had built too big of a lead to overcome in the end.

Jaylen Brown added 22 points for the Celtics. It was a poor shooting night overall for other starters, however, as Marcus Morris and Terry Rozier were a combined 6-for-23 shooting. Rozier filled in for Kyrie Irving, who missed the game due to a right quad contusion. Marcus Smart also missed the game due to an illness.

It doesn’t get any easier for the Celtics (25-18) after this one. They have the 33-12 Toronto Raptors coming to Boston to face the C’s on Wednesday night at TD Garden.

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