Celtics’ backcourt too much for Nets
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.