By DJ Harding –
The Celtics coming off a win against the Pelicans with Jaylen Brown scoring a team high 41 points, was unavailable tonight with right abductor tightness. Kevin Durant for the Brooklyn Nets is also out with a MCL sprain which he suffered Sunday in the Nets last game versus Heat. Both teams despite missing stars are coming off wins and are two of the hottest teams in the league and are seeding as number first and second in the east.
In a back and forth first quarter Joe Harris led all scorers with ten points as the Nets led 31-29 in a close first quarter. By the end of the second half it was more of the same despite Brooklyn having a seven point lead the game was close with the Celtics up 3. With the score at 60-57 Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 14 points with Derrick white added 12. For the Nets Kyrie Irving pitched in 14 with contributions from T.J Warren (13) and Seth Curry (11).
Coming out of the Half the game had more of the same with constant lead changes and a lot of back and forth with neither team pulling away ending the third Celtics up by two 84-82. But the problem of having no Kevin Durant finally showed itself as in the 4th The Brooklyn train started to fall off the track. Boston came out the 4th and went on a 12 to 2 run and didn’t give up the lead the rest of the night Tatum led the Celtics with 20 points and the trio of Marcus Smart (16), Malcolm Brogdon (16), and Derrick White (15) stepped up in Brown’s absence. For the Nets Kyrie Irving had 24 points along with 20 from T.J Warren.
The Nets fall to 27-14 and defend their home court again on Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. They will still be without Durant and the timetable on his return is at least 2 weeks. The Celtics improve to 31-12 and hope to get Brown back when they play the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday in Charlotte.