Nets Hold Off Celtics 111-101 For Home-And-Home Split

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, right, shoots against Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11)  during the game in New York. The Nets won 111-101. (Julie Jacobson/AP)
Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, right, shoots against Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) during the game in New York. The Nets won 111-101. (Julie Jacobson/AP)

The Brooklyn Nets were embarrassed and angry, and two nights later were 35 points better.

Brook Lopez had 23 points and 10 rebounds, Jarrett Jack scored 13 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and the Nets beat the Boston Celtics 111-101 on Sunday for a split of a home-and-home series.

After the Celtics won by 25 in Boston, the Nets dominated the second quarter that was pivotal in both games and held on after blowing most of a 22-point lead, their largest of the season.

"I kind of felt like last game was an aberration and they proved me right tonight," Nets coach Lionel Hollins said.

Joe Johnson added 17 points for the Nets, who have won two in a row at home, where they have barely played this season.

"We got embarrassed in Boston, no doubt about that," Johnson said, "and we wanted to come home and protect our house."

Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley each scored 27 points for the Celtics, taking on more responsibility in the backcourt with starting guard Marcus Smart lost for possibly a couple of weeks with a lower left leg injury.

The Celtics outscored the Nets 43-23 in the second quarter Friday. This time, Brooklyn made 14 of 21 shots in a 35-point second quarter en route to a 59-42 advantage at halftime.

"I think we took what happened the other night personal," Jack said. "Not necessarily per se toward that particular team, I think we took our performance personal."

Brooklyn then pushed it to 67-45 early in the third, but Thomas scored 15 and Bradley hit three of his seven 3-pointers in the period to finally get the Celtics in the game.

"I felt like the energy, they were just playing harder than us consistently throughout the game," Bradley said. "We kind of dug a hole for ourselves and weren't able to come back."

The Celtics had won the last three meetings and every loss for the Nets is big for them this season, since Brooklyn owes Boston its first-round pick from the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade in 2013. The Nets have one of the NBA's worst records, so it's looking like the Celtics will get a good one.


But they couldn't help themselves further Sunday, as Jack steadied the Nets after Boston cut it to 90-86 with about 9 minutes remaining.

"There were plenty of areas that frustrated me but again, Brooklyn outplayed us." Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "I've said this before and I truly believe it's the thing I love about basketball: What happened yesterday has no bearing on today."


Celtics: F David Lee was scoreless and missed all three shots in 7 minutes off the bench after going 5 for 5 for 11 points Friday. ... The Celtics came in forcing an NBA-best 19.6 turnovers per game, but they coughed it up 17 times Sunday, leading to 25 points for the Nets. ... Boston fell to 3-2 on the road.

Nets: G Wayne Ellington sat out with a migraine. ... The Nets are nearly finished with a stretch that has them playing 11 of their first 16 games on the road. They visit Oklahoma City and Cleveland this week, then play nine straight in New York - eight at home and one at the Knicks.


Stevens said before the game that Smart could miss at least a couple of weeks. He said the second-year guard won't need surgery and the injury, which he said was the subluxation of a joint, isn't considered a long-term problem, but that doctors want to make sure he's fully healed before returning.


The teams play again Jan. 2 in Boston and Jan. 4 in Brooklyn. It's the first time the Nets play two home-and-home series against the same opponent in one season since Indiana in 2007-08.


Stevens, on some bad perimeter defense: "Let's put it that way. We were not in their vicinity sometimes."


Celtics: Visit Atlanta on Tuesday.

Nets: Visit Oklahoma City on Wednesday.


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