Thursday, February 2, 2023

Celtics 139, Nets 96: Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown lead the way in blowout win over Brooklyn

It was raining 3s at TD Garden Wednesday night, as the Celtics rolled over the Brooklyn Nets in a 139-96 blowout victory.

Jayson Tatum finished with 31 points on 12-of-19 from the field to go along with nine rebounds and four assists, while Jaylen Brown had 26 points on 8-of-16 shooting to help the C's improve to 37-15 on the season.
"You can tell we were ready to go from the jump," Tatum said in his postgame presser.
Boston led wire-to-wire and by as many as 49 points, while Tatum and Brown each hit 7-of-12 from deep -- on the way to 26 total 3-pointers made by the team overall on 54 attempts.

Despite Marcus Smart (ankle sprain) missing his fifth consecutive game, Robert Williams returned from his absence against the Los Angeles Lakers to record 16 points, nine rebounds while Derrick White added 14 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in the team's second straight win.
"They're hungry," Williams said in his postgame comments of Tatum and Brown. "They're still (upset) about last year."
The Celtics, who have beaten Brooklyn in all three meetings so far this season and 10 straight overall -- going back to the 2021-22 campaign and playoffs -- shot 60% through three quarters, before emptying their bench in the fourth.

Kyrie Irving had 20 points on 9-of-18 from the floor to lead the Nets, who were playing without Kevin Durant (MCL sprain) once again, Ben Simmons (knee soreness) and T.J. Warren (shin contusion). Cam Thomas netted 19 points off the bench and Joe Harris chipped in 12 points as the only other players to register double-digit scoring for Brooklyn -- as they fell to 31-20, which is the fourth best record in the East.
"It's clear as day that they want to win the championship, and they're not wasting any time in the regular season," Irving said to reporters following the loss. "Tonight I felt like we were just one of those teams in the way, and you know, we just can't be one of those teams in the way. We've got to be one of those teams that stands up to them."
Boston jumped out to a 33-7 edge, hitting their first eight 3-pointers to start the game and the Nets couldn't get any offense going, connecting on 2-of-14 during that stretch.

Tatum finished the quarter with 18 points, outscoring Brooklyn by himself, as the Celtics took a 46-16 advantage into the second period -- setting a franchise record for the largest opening quarter lead of 30.

Brooklyn used a 22-8 run to open the second quarter, but only managed to score 11 points in the final seven minutes of the half, as the C's were ahead 79-45 at the break.

No one played more than 32 minutes for interim coach Joe Mazzulla and everyone who checked in, with the exception of Blake Griffin, scored in Boston's most lopsided win of the season.

Celtics host the Phoenix Suns (27-26) Friday night and NBA TV has the tip-off at 7:30 ET.

Game Notes:

Boston was 57.6% from the field, including 48.1% from behind the arc, while the Nets were 40.9% from the floor and 23.1% (9-of-39) from long-distance. The Celtics outscored Brooklyn in the paint 54-40 and won the battle of the rebounds 57-32. The C's also assisted 28 times on 53 baskets to the visiting team's 19 dimes on 36 made shots.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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