Brooklyn Nets Drop Third Straight Game in Preseason

Jan 4, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Boston Celtics center Tyler Zeller (44) keeps Brooklyn Nets guard Bojan Bogdanovic (44) from the net during the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 4, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Boston Celtics center Tyler Zeller (44) keeps Brooklyn Nets guard Bojan Bogdanovic (44) from the net during the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports /

18. Final. 97. 147. 100

The Brooklyn Nets played their second home game of the 2016 preseason against the Boston Celtics, a team they have recent history with.

The Brooklyn Nets played their second home game and their fourth game overall of the 2016 preseason tonight against the Boston Celtics. After the previous history between these teams, we are seeing the Ying versus the Yang of the NBA. One team that is blossoming and coming into its own at the right time with a plethora of future draft picks at their disposal in the Celtics and a team stuck on the rebuilding treadmill in the Nets.

The Nets started Trevor Booker, Randy Foye, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Brook Lopez, and Jeremy Lin. Off the bat, it was clear the Nets were going for an aggressive tone. Lin got to the line early to give the Nets the first lead of the night, from there on the Nets had the momentum, taking a 22-15 lead with 2:48 left in the first. All of a sudden though, the Celtics stole the momentum and closed the gap and the quarter and cut it down to only a four-point lead.

As the second quarter began, Brad Stevens’ crew knew they needed to step up their play after a sloppy first quarter. The Celtics came out of the first quarter break with energy and tied the ballgame up at 29 points a piece. Booker responded however with great play on both ends and helped the Nets regain the lead. From that point on, it was a battle, and both teams exchanged punches as well as the lead.

Three-point shots and free throws told the story the rest of the way, as we saw Lin on the line twice and Luis Scola fire from outside for the Nets. Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder followed suit for Boston, both firing from beyond the arc and a trip to the line for Crowder. After both teams attempted 17 three point field goals in the first, with Boston only hitting 4 and Brooklyn only hitting 3, we saw the Celtics leading the Nets 47-45 at the half. Both teams battled and it was a very well contested affair from both Brooklyn and Boston.

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As the third quarter began, the fight continued between both teams. Gritty basketball and back and forth lead changes sums up essentially how the majority of third quarter played out. That was how it played until Kenny Atkinson made some substitutions. Lin was replaced by Bojan Bogdanovic, Hollis-Jefferson was replaced by Anthony Bennett, and Booker was replaced by Greivis Vasquez. The new squad for Brooklyn was able to hang in there for a little while, but it became evident that the lack of shot blocking on Brooklyn’s part was a problem. Boston went on a 17-9 run to end the quarter shortly after the Nets’ substitutions were made. The Nets found themselves down by eight at the end of three quarters, with a score of 77-69.

Brooklyn knew they needed a run and that’s exactly what they got in the fourth. Great defensive play by the Nets and great shot selection is what triggered their run.

It began and was fueled thanks to the new Net, big man Luis Scola. Scola started off the quarter with a driving hook shot. Scola then hit a three-pointer, which cut the lead down to just three. Cody Zeller would make a putback but that was just about all the offense they got during the hot streak the Nets would find themselves on.

Foye responded and hit a long range three off of Jeremy Lin’s seventh assist of the night. Bogdanovic would steal the ball off of a bad pass from Zeller and that would allow Luis Scola to get an easy dunk on the fast break to tie the ballgame up at 79 a piece. After Jaylen Brown and RJ Hunter combined for three Celtics points, Sean Kilpatrick responded by tying the game with a shot from behind the arc. Lin got the Nets back on track though and helped them jump back in the lead. He made a finger roll layup over the young Terry Rozier, and the Nets then led 86-85.

The Nets did not allow the Celtics to score for two and a half minutes after getting out to a 90-89 lead, thanks in part to Randy Foye. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson played big minutes down the stretch. He gave Greivis Vasquez a nice pass for a finger roll layup, before blocking Jordan Mickey’s shot on the other end. As time wound down, former Net Gerald Green cut the Nets lead down to just one with under 1:40 left to play. Vasquez responded, however, and hit a nice shot himself. Brown would then hit two free throws and Mickey ran the floor and threw the hammer down to take the lead.

Scola attempted to give the Nets the lead but missed. As Hunter grabbed the rebound, it was clear he stepped out, but the referees did make the call. This caused the Nets to foul and put themselves down three after the rookie Brown made both free throws. The Nets needed a three. Out of the timeout, they just couldn’t hit it, as Greivis Vasquez missed a tough three-pointer to end the game, resulting in a 100-97 loss for the Nets.

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There were plenty of great takeaways from this game, and it just shows that the Nets will and must continue to grow and build chemistry as a team. The Nets will face off against Boston once more in the preseason and in thirteen days when the Nets open up the regular season in Boston.