BOSTON — It wasn’t quite the same as their blowout win over the Nets from last season, but the Celtics still dominated the Nets comfortably. Boston jumped out to a huge lead and never looked back in a 139-96 win over Brooklyn on Wednesday at TD Garden.
The win was the 10th straight time the Seas have defeated the Nets, including last season’s first round sweep. Boston won its second straight game to improve to 37–15, preventing its other former foes from regaining the lead.
There was a lot to like for the Celtics on Wednesday as they jumped out to a 46-16 lead after the first quarter. The 30-point advantage was the largest in franchise history after the opening quarter. The Nets went on a run to start the second quarter, which prompted C’s coach Joe Mazzulla to call a timeout.
But it was the last time the Celtics even broke a sweat as they comfortably led the rest of the game. The bench players continued to add to the huge lead as well. While Boston’s shot-making impressed all night, the Celtics’ defense also held the Nets to 40.9% shooting.
Jayson Tatum put up 31 points on 12-for-19 (7-for-12 from 3) shooting as he hit his first four shots from 3-point range. Jaylen Brown was not far behind with 26 points. Derrick White added 14 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Kyrie Irving had 20 points, four rebounds and four assists for the Nets.
The Celtics will take on the Suns for their next game on Friday at 7:30 PM at TD Garden. Here are four takeaways from Boston’s victory over Brooklyn:
dominate like last season
The setbacks haven’t been as frequent as the second half of last season, when the Seas stormed through the NBA on their way to the Finals. Wednesday’s victory was so lopsided that it reminded fans of the 28-2 Celtics’ another blowout win last season against the Nets in Brooklyn. It was more of the same vibes for the C’s as their lead reached 49 points on Wednesday. The Nets’ defense could not keep up with the Celtics, and while the visitors made some shots, it was not enough to overcome Boston’s play.
shooting on top
The Celtics have steadily improved their defense this season and are now ranked top-5 in the league. But when the Cs got shut out early in their 21-5 run, they ran a historically-great offense where 3-pointers came easy. Boston has shifted away from relying too much on its shooting of late, relying instead on improving defense. But when the Celtics rain 3-pointers, they will be difficult to beat. That was the case on Wednesday when the Celtics shot 48.1% (26-for-54) from 3 while the Nets hit just 23.1% of their long range looks.
flyer for boards
Robert Williams III made his return from a brief absence that forced him to miss the overtime win over the Lakers. This is a good sign for the Celtics as Williams lays out what they want to do defensively. The Big Man was also a force on the glass, finishing with five offensive rebounds (nine total) and 16 points. His 7-for-8 shooting was also another plus as the Celtics were also able to keep his playing time under 19 minutes.
With the Celtics blowing the Nets right off the tipoff, this gave Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla a great opportunity to keep his starting minutes down. Tatum only played 29 minutes while Al Horford was on 25. Brown (32 minutes) and Derrick White (31) both passed the 30-minute mark, but the Seas did not need to play any of their starters in the fourth quarter. While the C’s are coming off a three-day break, it’s always smart to avoid overworking players during long sessions.