The Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets made a blockbuster deal in 2013 that really changed both franchises. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce along with two other players were dealt to Brooklyn in exchange for first round picks in 2014, 2016, and 2018, as well as the ability to swap picks in 2017. Boston also acquired five players, but none of those remain on the roster.
However, there was a clear winner of the deal, and it still shows today. The winners were the Celtics. Pierce only lasted a year on the team, and Garnett lasted just a year and a half. The year they had together, the two aging players were forced to lead an inexperienced team, and they were eliminated from the playoffs in the second round. Since then, the Nets have failed to finish above .500, but do not own their draft picks. They belong to the Boston Celtics. Last year's Brooklyn pick was the third overall of the draft, and they used it on Jaylen Brown. Boston will also have Brooklyn's pick for the next two years, assuming Brooklyn's pick will be higher than Boston's this season.
Since the trade, there has been no love lost between the two sides. However, the Celtics roster was just too talented for the Nets, and they defeated them 122-117
Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 23 of Boston's points, while Bojan Bogdanovic had 21, leading the Nets.
Tight first half
The Celtics were expected to dominate the game from the tip, but it simply did not go that way. The Nets kept close with the Celtics the entire first quarter, as Boston's lead never grew bigger than six points. Al Horford made his presence felt quickly in his highly-anticipated Celtics debut, as he had five points and two rebounds in the first quarter of play.
The first quarter displayed lots of offense, as the Celtics outscored the Nets 33-31.
To open up the second quarter, Boston went on an 11-3 run and jumped out to a 46-34 lead. Boston's incredible depth was shown, as the bench accounted for every point scored during the run.
However, Brooklyn would fight back and trailed by just six points at halftime.
Justin Hamilton had 14 points for the Nets in the first half, shooting 5-6 from the field and 2-3 from deep. Thomas led the Celtics with 11 points at the stoppage, shooting 7-7 from the free throw line.
Dominating third quarter for the Celtics
Boston dominated the third quarter, as they outscored the Nets 33-23 during the period.
Jae Crowder led the Celtics, as he dropped 11 points in the quarter as well as two assists, two steals, two rebounds, and a block.
Boston went on a couple runs, including a 9-2 run midway through the quarter. At the end of the quarter, Boston's lead was 97-81.
Nets nearly complete a fourth quarter comeback
Boston also started off the fourth quarter strong and led 112-89 with just 7:36 to go. At this point, it appeared as if the game had already been decided.
But not so fast.
Brooklyn came storming all the way back and brought Boston's lead all the way down to 8 with 2:10 left. Avery Bradley's layup with 1:14 left in the game was Boston's first points in nearly three minutes.
In the final 1:14, Boston had an absurd three turnovers, leading Brooklyn to go on a 7-0 run in the last minute to bring the game all the way back to a three-point game. Since the 7:36 mark, Brooklyn outscored Boston 28-8.
However, Boston sneaked out with the win, as the Nets missed their four shots beyond the arc. Boston got their first win of the year, but coach Brad Stevens and company will certainly work on closing games out in the fourth quarter.
It's just one game of 82, so let's see how these teams bounce back moving forward.