NEW YEAR, NEW NETS.
OK. That might be a stretch, but the Nets improved their streak of winning the first game of the New Year (s) since moving to Brooklyn with a 100-97 emotional victory over the Boston Celtics to kick off the new year. Now, the attention will switch to the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, where Jarrett Jack will get an MRI tomorrow to determine if the knee sprain he suffered late in the game is anything worse.
It was the first game of a home-and-home with the Celtics, the next coming Monday in Brooklyn. I don't think it can get much better than this one, though.
The first half of this game was strange to say the least. The Nets played a quick, up-tempo style of play, more so because they were playing at the Celtics pace. Still, they led at the half despite shooting 1-of-7 from three.
Tempers started to flair in the third quarter. Jared Sullinger delivered a hard foul on Brook Lopez in which he wrapped his arm around Lopez's neck and essentially threw him down to the ground. , a profound leader, stepped in and pushed Sullinger and stood over him as four other Celtics swarmed him.
Here's what started it:
He didn't back down, and neither did the Nets as they immediately went on a 9-0 run and took an eventual 11-point lead. They outscored the Celtics 23-13 after the flagrant and held them to just 16 points in the quarter.
But things got bad for the Nets in a different form. As Jack was running out on an open fast break, his leg appeared to buckle and he fell, grimacing in pain and pounding the parquet floor. He couldn't put pressure on the leg and did NOT return with what the Nets hope is only a right knee sprain. After the game, things looked a lot better.
Jarrett Jack is walking around in the Nets locker room without crutches, albeit very slowly. He's laughing and in good spirits.— Andy Vasquez (@andy_vasquez) January 2, 2016
In a game filled with emotions behind the leader in Jack, the Nets had a whole new incentive to win this game. But the Celtics weren't going down without a fight.
They started the fourth quarter on a 12-2 run and tied the game at 83 apiece. The Nets fell down, but picked themselves right back up behind the lead of Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson.
The Celtics were down three with nine seconds left. The Nets coughed it up and the Celtics charged down the floor, just to see Jonas Jerebko missed a wide-open potential game-tying three. Phew. In place of Jack, Shane Larkin struggled with three of his four turnovers coming in the final 2:02 minutes of action. He looked rattled in the big moment.
Luckily, Johnson and Lopez combined for 50 points on the night and 14 of Brooklyn's 19 points in the fourth quarter. Lopez scored nine of his season-high 30 points in the final quarter. He also had 13 rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot on a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line. It was the tenth 30 and 10 game of Lopez's career, six of them coming in the last year.
The Nets held the Celtics to 38.6 percent shooting, marking the second lowest opponent field goal percentage this season.
Joe Johnson hasn't scored 15 points since December 8th vs. Houston. In this one, he had 20 points on 9-of-19 shooting. Along with him, Thaddeus Young notched his 17th double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Post game, Johnson was critical of the Nets play down the stretch, saying bad plays including turnovers had given the Celtics life.
Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 24 points and six assists, while Jae Crowder chipped in 16 points and seven rebounds
The Nets, at 10 wins, remain undefeated in 2016.
For more on the Boston Celtics, check them out at CelticsBlog
- Brooklyn Nets vs Boston Celtics - Box Score - NBA.com
- Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics - Box Score - ESPN
- Game Thread: Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics, 3:00 PM - NetsDaily
- 2nd Half Game Thread: Nets at Celtics - NetsDaily
- Brook Lopez, Nets edge Celtics in Boston - AP
- Johnson: Game should've been over already (Video) - Chris Mannix - Comcast SportsNet
- Jarrett Jack Injury (Video) - NBA.com
- Avery Bradley Injury (Video) - NBA.com
- Blow By And Convert (Video) - NBA.com
- Youth And Athleticism (Video) - NBA.com
- Fluid Motion (Video) - NBA.com
- Defense To Offense (Video) - NBA.com
- Sweet Touch (Video) - NBA.com
- Use Your Strengths (Video) - NBA.com
- The Postman (Video) - NBA.com
- Brooklyn Boogie (Video) - NBA.com
- Sloan's Circus Finish (Video) - NBA.com
- Lopez Gets 30 And 13 Boards (Video) - NBA.com
- Brook Lopez on being aggressive (Video) - Sarah Kustok - YES Network
- Hollins on Nets win and Lopez's performance (Video) - YES Network
- Lionel Hollins on preparing for quick Celtics (Video) - YES Network
- Jack discusses knee injury and playing for teammates (Video) - YES Network
- Johnson on preparation, aggressiveness -(Video) - YES Network
- Jack injured in the Nets' victory over the Celtics - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets notes: Jarrett Jack sticks up for teammate - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets earn nice win, but get painful loss with injury to Jarrett Jack - Tim Healey - Newsday
- Jarrett Jack of Brooklyn Nets injures right knee, to have MRI Sunday - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN
- Nets barely get by Celtics, but lose Jarrett Jack in the process - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets shudder to think what guard play may be like without Jack- Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets win 100-97, but lose Jarrett Jack to injury (Game Grades) - Benny Nadeau - The Brooklyn Game
- GAME DAY: Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics - Ken Powtak - Brooklyn Nets
- GAME DAY: Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics (Gallery) - Brooklyn Nets
- Celtics’ rally falls short in loss to Nets - Adam Himmelsbach = Boston Globe
- Hunter downplays shoulder injury - Adam Himmelsbach - Boston Globe
- This skid is a bad look for Celtics - Gary Washburn - Boston Globe
- Celtics gracious as hosts - Mark Murphy - Boston Herald
- Isaiah Thomas, late comeback not enough as Boston Celtics fall to Brooklyn Nets, 100-97 - Jay King - Springfield Republican
- Boston Celtics disappoint again at home, lose 100-97 to Brooklyn Nets - A. Sherrod Blakely - Comcast Sports Net
- Smart's Spark not Enough as C's Fall to Nets - Taylor C. Snow - Boston Celtics