Celtics’ back­court too much for Nets

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Michael Scotto

Bos­ton’s back­court was too good for a Brook­lyn one still miss­ing Jeremy Lin.

Isa­iah Thomas scored 23 points, Avery Bradley had 22 and the Celtics beat the Nets 111-92 on Wed­nes­day night.

Al Hor­ford added 17 points for the Celtics in their third straight vic­tory. Jae Crow­der had 15.

Bos­ton im­proved to 5-1 when Hor­ford is in the lineup.

“Al can score the ball,” Bradley said. “But it’s all the lit­tle things that he does and how he gets the ball mov­ing, it’s so con­ta­gious. Dur­ing the time­outs he’s telling guys, ‘We need to move the ball.’ He’s a leader, speaks up and he re­ally helps our team with that be­cause some­times the ball sticks and for Al to step up and say some­thing and us mov­ing the ball and it start with him, that means a lot.”

Sean Kil­patrick scored 23 points for the Nets, who have lost five in a row. Trevor Booker had 18 points and 12 re­bounds, and Bo­jan Bog­danovic added 14 points.

Bos­ton raced to an 11-2 lead and was ahead 3016 af­ter one quar­ter, but the Nets an­swered with a 21-6 run and 12 points from Bog­danovic in the sec­ond quar­ter.

The Nets came all the way back to tie it at 60 in the third, but the Celtics then went on a 19-6 run to re­gain con­trol.

“For the most part, I feel like we were shar­ing the ball tonight and get­ting open shots for our team­mates and that’s how we pulled away in the first quar­ter and that’s how we pulled away at the end of the game,” Bradley said.

Third-quar­ter strug­gles have be­come a theme for the Nets thus far.

“I don’t know if our mind­set col­lec­tively is right,” cen­ter Brook Lopez said. “I mean, I guess it’s not. We just need to find a way to all be on the same page and come out the way we’ve been com­ing out most games, and again just sus­tain­ing that ef­fort and en­ergy. That’s the bot­tom line.”

Kil­patrick scored 13 points in the fourth, but it wasn’t enough for Brook­lyn.

TIP-INS

Celtics: Guard Mar­cus Smart has made an ef­fort to add the floater to his game. “He’s worked on it quite a bit,” coach Brad Stevens said. “It was a ma­jor fo­cus go­ing into his sec­ond year and he got bet­ter at it and then he’s con­tin­ued that fo­cus now go­ing into his third year. The best part about a floater is it’s got a chance of go­ing in, but it also leads to a shot block at­tempt so you’ve got a chance to get a re­bound.” ... Demetrius Jack­son and Jor­dan Mickey were in­ac­tive.

Nets: Lopez is now the only player in the league with 20 or more 3-point­ers and blocks . ... Booker has matched his sin­gle­sea­son ca­reer high with his fifth dou­ble-dou­ble of the sea­son . ... Chris McCullough be­came the fourth player in history to ap­pear in an NBA game and a D-League game in the same day . ... Lin (strained left ham­string) and Caris LeVert (left foot re­hab) were in­ac­tive.

LIN UP­DATE

Coach Kenny Atkin­son said there was “no spe­cific time frame” for Lin’s re­turn af­ter he missed his ninth straight game.

“He’s just pro­gress­ing as sched­uled,” Atkin­son said. “He’s anx­ious to play. We’re anx­ious to get him back, but we also un­der­stand the big pic­ture long-term and, def­i­nitely, I think in these sit­u­a­tions I know col­lec­tively we’re air­ing on the side of be­ing cau­tious and smart.”

UP NEXT

Celtics: Host San An­to­nio on Fri­day in an af­ter­noon start.

Nets: Visit In­di­ana on Fri­day. The Nets beat the Pacers last month for their first vic­tory un­der Atkin­son.

RICH SCHULTZ — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Nets guard Yogi Fer­rell, left, and Celtics guard Isa­iah Thomas battle for the ball dur­ing the first half of Wed­nes­day’s game in New York.

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