Celtics dominate Nets, 115-85

Celtics dominate Nets, 115-85
October 19, 2012, 2:51 am
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BROOKLYN, N.Y. The Boston Celtics finally delivered the kind of defensive performance that even the pickiest connoisseur of that brand of basketball would be pleased to see as Boston pulled away for a 115-85 win over the Brooklyn Nets.
It was easily the best showing by the Celtics (2-4) defensively during the preseason, a game that began with a pair of forced turnovers by Boston within the first minute of play.
That helped the C's jump out to a 9-0 lead which ballooned to as many as 19 points in the first half before Boston settled on a 59-44 lead at the half.
Prior to the game, Celtics head coach Doc Rivers expressed his concern about his team's play defensively.
"I'm not sure who we are yet," Rivers said. "I'm not sure what we are yet.
And while the Celtics have been praised by many for the offensive-minded talent they have assembled around their core group, Rivers said, "I think we suck so far defensively. We can't lose that part of anything. If you're not about defense, you're not winning in this league."
That point clearly hit home with the Celtics starters, who set the tone with a suffocating brand of basketball that has been absent most of the preseason until now.
In that first half of dominance, Boston forced 11 turnovers for 12 points while giving up just three points on four of their own miscues.
And that defense allowed Boston to get out and run and for a change, it wasn't just Rondo by himself, either.
In fact, there were multiple sequences in which Lee or another Celtic player were ahead of Rondo in transition -- a rarity in past seasons.
The only downside for the Celtics came on the injury front.
In the second quarter, Paul Pierce nailed a 3-pointer but landed on the foot of Gerald Wallace. He limped off the floor and eventually went back to the locker room along with trainer Ed Lacerte, to get his left ankle re-taped. Pierce did return in the third quarter, and showed no ill effects from the ankle injury.
In fact, Pierce drilled a huge 3-pointer that made it a 76-61 and followed that up by drawing a charge moments later. He finished with 18 points and five rebounds.
The news wasn't as good for Brandon Bass, who suffered a bruised right knee injury that kept him on the bench for the entire second half. The injury doesn't appear to be too serious; at least not serious enough to keep him out of the lineup on Saturday when the C's travel to Albany, N.Y. to play the New York Knicks.