Five days off was enough for the Boston Celtics, after beating upon teams in Europe, they finally met an NBA team. Celtics faced the Brooklyn Nets in New York and they certainly did not have a problem with them either, because they went on to the win game 109-105. Despite a close score, Celtics had a lead up to 18 points in the third quarter. Not once did the C’s allow the team from Brooklyn to take the lead on them, and with stellar play on defense and shooting, the green team had the game in control.
Newcomer Amir Johnson was the MVP of the game, as he had his handprints everywhere in the first quarter. 12 points and four rebounds in the first quarter for Johnson, including stellar defense on former All-Star Brook Lopez, holding him zero field goals in the first half of the game. Not to mention, the former Toronto Raptor showed some range, knocking down two three pointers.
Just as good as Johnson was Isaiah Thomas, who got the nod to start for tonight’s game. Isaiah was impressive, shot 90 percent in the first half, while totaling 17 points along with his teammate Johnson. While Johnson led the Celtics in points with 19 in the game, Thomas led them in assists with nine. Six players on Boston had double figures in points, including Evan Turner who saw his first preseason action.
Turner started off rocky, but found his groove as the game went along. He finished with 11 points and seven assists in limited minutes. Thaddeus Young was a bright spot for the Nets, as he led the team with 19 points and added nine rebounds as well.
Celtics rookie R.J. Hunter was a spark off the bench at one point in the second quarter, as he knocked down two consecutive threes in a row. 11 points, four rebounds, four assists, and four steals (game high) was his stat line in just under 30 minutes. The four steals were probably the biggest stand out. Hunter was assertive on defense, which even got head coach Brad Stevens' attention.
Stevens had this remark towards Hunter’s progression: "Defensively he's way ahead of where I thought he'd be".
Jordan Mickey had himself a good night as well, six points on 6 for 7 shooting in just 12 minutes. Celtics fans can be happy for the way Mickey has been playing in preseason, quite efficient in limited amount of time due to the roster.
Injuries: For the green team they did not have most of their projected starters playing tonight, which included Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, and David Lee. Rookie Terry Rozier did not play as well, due to a knee injury. For the Nets, their rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was out for tonight’s game because of a right ankle sprain.
Notes: Brooklyn’s point guard Jarrett Jack was ejected in the second quarter at the 9:56 mark for bulldozing Jonas Jerebko as he was going up for a layup. Jack earned himself a flagrant two, which sent him to the showers early.
Next Up: The Celtics face another team in New York, the Knicks on Friday, in which they’ll try to stay perfect in preseason in the win column. As for the Nets, they’ll get a few days off and try to bounce back, before going up against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.