Rapid Reaction: Nets 102, Celtics 97
November, 15, 2012
By Mike Mazzeo | ESPNNewYork.com
WHAT IT MEANS: The Nets gutted out their first big win in their new borough.
Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez delivered key shots in the final minutes, and Brooklyn fended off the Boston Celtics, 102-97, on Thursday night in front of a sellout crowd at the Barclays Center.
The Nets (5-2), who have won four in a row, hadn’t beaten the Celtics since March 14, 2011. It’s their first four-game winning streak since March 4-14, 2011.
They blew a 13-point lead, only to come up with key plays in the fourth quarter. Johnson, who had an off shooting night, hit back-to-back jumpers to snap an 87-all tie, and Lopez’s putback gave the Nets a six-point lead with 1:45 left. The Celtics would cut it to one, but that’s as close as they’d get.
D-WILL'S FINAL 43: Deron Williams played well in the first half, then tailed off significantly in the second half. He finished with 24 points and eight assists, but shot just 6-for-17 from the field -- 3-for-11 after halftime. His six free throws in the final 43 seconds were huge, though.
BROOK-LYN: Lopez ended his night with 24 points and six rebounds on an efficient 11-for-14 from the floor. He has scored 20-plus points in four of the team’s first seven games this season.
HIGHLIGHT REEL: D-Will’s no-look pass to Lopez for a reverse dunk in the first quarter certainly stood out, as did his killer 3-point play against Leandro Barbosa in the second period.
HURTING? D-Will appeared to tweak his right ankle as he was trying to spin Barbosa with 10:17 left in the third quarter, but remained in the game.
JOE’S WOES: Johnson hit two of his first three shots -- then proceeded to miss 12 of his next 16. He ended up going 6-for-19 from the field. Guess he isn’t out of his early-season funk just yet. Still, he delivered when it counted, notching 19 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.
THIRD’S THE BAD WORD: The Nets played yet another poor third quarter. In this one, they were outscored 29-15 and shot 28.6 percent (6-for-21).
ANOTHER DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Kris Humphries quietly contributed his third double-double (10 points and 13 rebounds).
CAROM COUNTER: Through seven games, Lopez has grabbed 46 rebounds.
MR. FIRST QUARTER: Lopez had 10 points, 3 rebounds and 2 blocks in the opening 12 minutes.
INJURY REPORT: Gerald Wallace missed his sixth straight game due to a sprained left ankle. MarShon Brooks, who missed the previous three games due to a sprained left ankle, returned and played six minutes. The Celtics were without starting point guard Rajon Rondo (sprained right ankle).
GETTING PHYSICAL: Keith Bogans fouled Barbosa hard in the second quarter and had the Brazilian point guard by the neck. The Celtics wanted a flagrant foul, but didn’t get one.
HISTORY IN THE MAKING: The last time the Nets played on TNT was Jan. 24, 2008, against Golden State.
WHO’S IN THE HOUSE? Giants wideout Victor Cruz was given a nice ovation when he was shown on the video board. Rapper Fabolous was in one of the lounges. Ellen Pompeo of "Grey’s Anatomy" was also in attendance.
UP NEXT: Nets vs. Kings, Sunday at 6 p.m. in Sacramento, Calif.