Friday, March 21, 2014

Nets remain unbeatable at home, crush Celtics 114-98

The Nets found themselves at the Barclays Center playing one of the worst teams in the Easter Conference, the Boston Celtics. As Joe Johnson has frequently pointed out, an opposing team coming to Brooklyn can expect to lose once they get there. Working on a 10 game home winning streak, the Nets looked to get revenge on the Celtics, and make up for the embarrassment Boston handed them in Bean Town just two weeks ago.

Though the Nets were the better team in the first half, they had trouble containing Boston's shooting guard Avery Bradley. He put up 23 of his 28 points in the first half on 10/13 shooting, and 18 of those points came in the second quarter.

Responding to Bradley and his impressive game was Joe Johnson, who followed Bradley's 18 point second quarter with a 16 point third quarter of his own. He would finish the game with a Nets-high 27 points without playing a single minute in the fourth quarter.

Brooklyn got off to a 9-0 run extending from the end of the second quarter into the third, and the Nets would eventually take a 17 point lead. Boston was hanging with Brooklyn for much of the game, but that run sparked the Nets and allowed them to pull away from a Celtics team that had just recently beaten them. They led the game by 22 halfway through the fourth quarter, but were unable to sustain that big of a lead by the end of the game, only winning by a 16 point margin.

Up until late in the second quarter, Brooklyn was shooting over 70 percent from the field, but they cooled off a bit down the stretch. they were shooting 63 percent until the bench came in for garbage time in the fourth. Even after the bench cooled off, the Nets' shooting percentage at the final buzzer was an impressive 56.4 percent from the floor.

Besides Joe Johnson, guys like Mason Plumlee and Jorge Gutierrez played important minutes for the Nets, and played those minutes well. Plumlee, getting the start again for the injured Kevin Garnett, put up 18 points on 6/7 shooting, grabbed five rebounds, dished out three assists and grabbed three steals. He is continuing to show the league what he can do, and he's making the future in Brooklyn look much brighter than it did back in November and December. Over his last three games, Plumlee is averaging 14.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, and two steals per game.

Gutierrez, a rookie who is on his second 10-day contract with the Nets, had an impressive game playing some meaningful minutes. In 18 minutes, he put up 10 points on 5/6 shooting and grabbed three rebounds, while also guarding Rajon Rondo incredibly early in the fourth quarter.

This now marks 11 straight wins at the Barclays Center for the Nets.

Final Score: 114-98 NETS
Most Disappointing Stat of the Game: NONE
Promising Stat of the Game: Jorge Gutierrez' 10 points on 5/6 shooting. 
Scariest Moment of the Game: NONE
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