The biggest knock on Boston Celtics rookie Marcus Smart during the exhibition season is that he has struggled shooting the ball, particularly beyond the 3-point arc. While coach Brad Stevens acknowledged a need for greater offensive consistency from the rookie, he suggested Smart's shooting woes were not much of a concern.
Smart provided the go-ahead bucket with a straightaway 3 late in the fourth quarter as the Celtics defeated the Brooklyn Nets 95-90 in an experimental 44-minute exhibition game on Sunday at the Barclays Center.
Smart finished with 13 points on 4-of-11 shooting (3 of 8 beyond the arc) to go along with 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 rebounds over 26:31. With the game tied at 85 with 3:18 to go, Smart capped his scoring with the triple that helped Boston surge ahead.
The Celtics brought Smart off the bench to start the game, but utilized him in a starter role to open the second half as part of a smaller lineup with Jeff Green playing power forward. That unit helped Boston outscore Brooklyn 33-14 in the third quarter while rallying from as much as a 17-point deficit.
Everything else you need to know from Sunday's game:
• Nitty gritty: Jared Sullinger scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed 19 rebounds over 28:35. Brandon Bass scored 14 points off the bench, including hitting a corner 3-pointer to close out the third quarter. Green scored 14 points and was a team-best plus-17. Jarrett Jack and Jerome Jordan scored 17 points apiece to pace the Nets.
• No second chance: The Celtics dominated the second-chance points category, 20-2, with the Nets not getting their first second-chance points until late in the second half. Boston had a staggering 20 offensive rebounds, including six by Sullinger. That helped Boston overcome poor shooting (34 of 90, 37.8 percent).
• Loose balls: The Celtics launched 29 3-pointers, with Smart and Sullinger each making three, though Boston shot just 31 percent beyond the arc. ... The Celtics utilized 12 bodies, though Dwight Powell played just 40 seconds. ... Gerald Wallace, back after missing three games with a bone bruise, played only five minutes (and was a minus-7). ... Old friend Kevin Garnett (stomach bug) did not dress for Brooklyn.
• What it means: The Celtics improve to 4-3 on the exhibition season. They close out preseason play by hosting these same Nets on Wednesday night at TD Garden.