Nets give Celtics fight, fall in first game without Kevin Durant

BROOKLYN — The Nets hung with the Boston Celtics till they couldn’t.

Of their first game without Kevin Durant, the Nets fell simply quick to the Celtics in a 109-98 loss at Barclays Heart. Boston went on a 12-2 run by means of the first 5 minutes of the fourth quarter to drag away from Brooklyn after the 2 sides have been neck and neck by means of the first 36 minutes of the game. 

Even without their franchise cornerstone, the Nets stored the game shut a lot of the night time with the Celtics’ largest lead being simply 13 factors. It was the fourth when Brooklyn let the game slip away, being outscored 25-16, which was the biggest differential in 1 / 4 all night time.

“They picked up their pressure at the start of the fourth with a flurry of baskets and we called timeout, but they won the race to get the fourth quarter started aggressive,” Irving stated. “A few times, calls could have gone either way when the results ended up the way they are, and I feel like we definitely could have taken some better shots in the fourth quarter, got some defensive stops, but it didn’t happen for us tonight. And when you give up any opportunities for them to capitalize, they’re a great team, they’re gonna do so.”

The Nets had solely trailed by two going into the ultimate body of the game when the Celtics began to drag away. Payton Pritchard and Malcolm Brogdon mixed for a fast eight factors and by the 7:14 mark Brooklyn trailed by 12.

Irving lower the Nets’ deficit to eight with a driving layup in the ultimate 5 minutes of the game, however a Robert Williams III alley-oop dunk put Boston again up by 10 and a three-point play by Jayson Tatum seemly put the game out of attain with 2:43 left in the game. 

“Give them a lot of credit, their defense took the step up and we couldn’t produce on the offensive end of the floor,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn stated. “Give them a lot of credit for really challenging every shot of ours and making every shot tough for us.”

The loss to the Celtics was the Nets’ ninth consecutive to Boston courting again to final season, which incorporates their 4 video games in opposition to them in the playoffs.

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) retains the ball away from Boston Celtics guard Marcus Sensible through the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023, in New York.AP Photograph/Mary Altaffer

Kyrie Irving completed the night time with 24 factors on 9-of-24 capturing from the sector together with six assists. T.J. Warren added 20 factors off the bench and Joe Harris shot 4-of-7 from three-point vary whereas ending with 18 factors.

Nic Claxton had an enormous defensive effort with 4 blocks, which was the seventh consecutive game in which he had not less than three blocks, and pulled down 9 boards. Ben Simmons did file a single level, however had 13 assists and 9 rebounds.

Thursday was the 18th time an NBA participant didn’t rating a degree and had not less than 13 assists in a daily season game. Among the many names on that record was Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn, who had 13 assists and no factors as a member of the New Jersey Nets on April 18, 2006.

The matchup was the first hurdle that the Nets have been hoping to recover from as they attempt to maneuver their upcoming schedule without Durant on the ground. The NBA celebrity was injured on Sunday when Jimmy Butler fell into Durant through the Nets’ win over the Miami Warmth.

Durant had suffered the same damage final season roughly across the similar time because the one which occurred on Sunday, which despatched their 2021-22 marketing campaign right into a tailspin. Vaughn was inspired by the variety of threes that his aspect tried, however didn’t like that the Nets shot simply 40% from mid-range.

“That piece of it we talked about, that’s just inefficient,” Vaughn stated. “With Kevin taking 32 mid-range we can roll with that. But the other guys, that’s not the basket that we want to fit in. We take 10 more threes or 15 more threes, I love it, but those shots are inefficient. You end up being 12-of-32. That’s why you have 16 points in the fourth (quarter).”

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