Kyrie Irving leads Celtics past the Brooklyn Nets 108-105

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 31: Kyrie Irving
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 31: Kyrie Irving /

Kyrie Irving scored 28 points to lead the Boston Celtics past the Brooklyn Nets 108-105 Sunday in Boston.

Boston led for the majority of the game. The Brooklyn Nets trailed by 13 in the first half and as many as 14 in the second half. The Nets lone lead came with 9:43 left in the third quarter on a DeMarre Carroll layup.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson led Brooklyn with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Caris LeVert continued to produce with 16 points and seven assists off the bench.

The Celtics came out red hot in the first quarter. Boston shot 16-for-23 from the field in the opening frame. The Nets trailed by ten to end the first but trimmed the deficit to just two to end the half.

The Nets struggled to keep the Celtics off the offensive glass in the second half. Boston capitalized on a number of second-chance opportunities from the three-point line.

Kenny Atkinson’s squad is severely undersized at power forward with Hollis-Jefferson (6’7″) and Quincy Acy (6’7″) playing the majority of the minutes.

The Nets were noticeably careless with the ball in the second half. Brooklyn committed eight second half turnovers as opposed to just one in the first.

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The Nets trailed throughout the second half but never allowed the game to get out of control. Boston extended it’s lead to 14 with 5:50 remaining in the game. However, Brooklyn would storm back.

The Nets trailed by five with the ball and 40 seconds remaining. Hollis-Jefferson hauled in a rebound off of a Spencer Dinwiddie miss and kicked to LeVert for an open three-pointer. LeVert missed, but Allen Crabbe was able to save the ball and find Dinwiddie at the top of the key. Dinwiddie found Acy who drained the three to cut the Boston lead to two.

Boston inbounded the ball to Marcus Smart who was fouled immediately. Smart hit one of two free throws, opening the door for Brooklyn.

The Nets inbounded to Dinwiddie who immediately hoisted a three from six feet behind the three-point line. The shot bricked off the backboard, eventually ending up in the hands of Irving ending any hope of a Brooklyn victory.

The Nets head coach addressed his team’s inconsistency in his pregame press conference. “Listen, like a lot of mediocre to below-average teams, we’re searching for consistency. That’s the magic sauce we’re looking for,” Atkinson said.

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The Nets will travel back to Brooklyn for a five-game homestand beginning with a matchup with the Orlando Magic on Monday night.