Adam Hunger/Associated Press
Even after a break, the Brooklyn Nets are still rolling.
They defeated the Boston Celtics 120-109 Thursday and have actually won 11 of their last 12 games, enhancing to 25-13 Brooklyn also snapped a four-game winning streak for Boston, which drops to 19-18
Kyrie Irving dropped 40 points for the Nets, while Boston was paced by 31 points from Jayson Tatum.
- Kyrie Irving, Nets: 40 PTS, 8 REB
- Jayson Tatum, Celtics: 31 PTS
- Marcus Smart, Celtics: 19 PTS
- James Harden, Internet: 22 PTS, 10 REB
The Return of Marcus Smart
The Celtics’ strong start to the season took a nosedive when guard Marcus Smart was sidelined with a calf strain. He missed 18 games going back to Feb. 2, and the Celtics were 9-9 because time, though they had a hard time to find their stride up until they won 4 games to liquidate the very first half.
Smart’s return was essential versus the Nets, despite the fact that they were just set to have two of their stars take the court as Kevin Durant remained out with a hamstring injury. Smart’s defense was clutch the last time he was on the same court as James Harden.
Against the Rockets in February 2020, the Celtics fell 111-110, however Harden was restricted to 7-of-24 shooting from the field and hit just 4 of 17 tries from deep, according to Land of Basketball
However he was likewise essential to the Celtics’ success this season. Prior to he was hurt, Boston ranked11 th in protective rating, and it dropped to 23 rd dating back to Jan. 30, Smart’s last getaway.
Head coach Brad Stevens stated pregame that Smart would be restricted to 20-22 minutes in his return.
He played 10 of those minutes in the very first half, scoring 8 points as the Webs crept to a three-point lead.
Boston opened the third quarter on a 9-0 run and Smart emerged in his third go on the court to help the Celtics chase Brooklyn, doubling his point total from the very first half in the frame.
He ended the night with 19 points on four-of-six shooting from the field, going eight-of-nine from the line.
Smart was the leading scorer off of the bench and the second-leading scorer on the team, combined with an outstanding 31 points from Tatum that assisted Boston remain in the game and almost complete a resurgence in the final minutes– with a two-point video game in the last four minutes– before Irving’s 20 th-career 40- point video game broke it open in the end.
Celtics Can’t Stop Kyrie Irving
The Celtics haven’t faced the totally loaded Nets this season, given that they played Brooklyn on Christmas Day, before Harden joined the team. They didn’t get the chance to experience the Big 3 on Thursday either, because Durant stayed out.
But Brooklyn has actually played well Durant’s absence, going10 -1 in its last 11 games without him. Kyrie Irving and Harden have actually more than managed to fill the void, with Harden scoring at least 20 points in each game, while Irving hasn’t put up less than 16, though he missed out on two video games during that period.
Versus his former group on Thursday, Irving starred in assisting the Nets to a 58-55 halftime lead after they routed by as numerous as 11 points in the first quarter. He grabbed 18 points on seven-of-11 shooting from the field in the first half, while Harden was slowed behind him with simply 11 points.
While those 2 took some time to get going, Landry Shamet tallied 12 points in 15 first-half minutes off of the bench.
As strong as Irving remained in the opening half, he was much more of a presence after the break.
Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Not much you can do when Kyrie has it going like this.
The Celtics will take a trip to take on the having a hard time Houston Firecrackers on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.
Brooklyn will host the Detroit Pistons at 7 p.m. on Saturday.