Boston Celtics

  • The Celtics and Nets have regularly been in headlines together the last few years, both on and off the court. On Sunday night, after months of rumors of trades between the two and a coach potentially changing sides, the two teams met on the floor for the first time in the 2022-2023 season. The Celtics picked up where they left off the last time they played the Nets  – sweeping them in last year’s playoffs – with a 103-92 win at the Barclays Center.

    It was the Celtics’ game almost wire-to-wire. After falling down 11-2 in the early minutes of the game, the Celtics put together a 14-0 run to retake the lead. Jaylen Brown scored six of those 14 points, part of a first quarter performance that saw him tie the franchise record for thee pointers in a quarter with five.

  • The Nets managed to work the game back to a tie late in the second quarter, but never retook the lead. There were another of other runs throughout the second half, and the game didn’t get back within a double-digit margin until late in the fourth quarter, but the Celtics were able to hold Brooklyn off in each instance.

    With his monster first quarter performance, Jaylen Brown finished with a game-high 34 points – three shy of his season high. He shot 10-of-20 from the field, 5-of-9 from three, and was 9-of-11 from the free throw line. Brown also put in work in the paint, recording 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the year, and tying a career-high with four blocks.

  • Jayson Tatum also had a big night for the Celtics. He dropped 29 points, and had a double-double as well with 11 rebounds. On the defensive end, he came up with three steals. Grant Williams was the only other Celtics starter in double figures, he finished with 10 points and had three steals of his own.

    Malcolm Brogdon led the Celtics’ bench 13 points. He flirted with a triple-double with eight points and eight assists. Payton Pritchard was the only other Celtics bench player to hit more than one basket – he finished with six points.

    Defensively, the Celtics did a relatively good job containing the Nets’ superstar duo. Kevin Durant had 31 points but shot just 13-of-24 from the field, and only got to the line five times. He also turned the ball over eight times. Kyrie Irving was limited to just 18 points and five assists.

  • With Sunday’s win, the Celtics have now beat the Nets eight times in a row dating back to last season. The Nets’ last head-to-head win was over a year ago – Nov 24, 2021.

    This win also keeps the Celtics in first place in the Eastern Conference, two games ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks. Their NBA-best record is extended to 19-5 on the season. They’ll have a chance to be the first NBA team this season to reach the 20-win mark on Monday, when they visit the Toronto Raptors on the second game of this six-game road trip. Coverage of that one begins at 7 p.m. Monday on 105.7 WROR and the Celtics Radio Network.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.