Tonight, Brook Lopez and the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Boston Celtics 82 – 80 in the first preseason match-up between the two teams since their blockbuster trade this summer. Paul Pierce took the floor against his former team while Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry rested. The Nets won the game on a pair of free throws from reserve forward, Chris Johnson with seven seconds left in regulation.
For Brooklyn, Brook Lopez and Andray Blatche were the stars in a slow paced game with little offense. Lopez had 20 points on 8-15 shooting, to go along with 3 resounding blocked shots and 2 steals. Blatche finished with 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals. Paul Pierce added 10 rebounds and 5 assists against his former team, but only scored 4 points on 1-6 shooting. The most attention grabbing moments of the game belonged to Reggie Evans, who got tangled up with Kris Humphries on at least two occasions and picked up a technical foul for yelling at a referee.
None of the Celtics had particularly strong performances, perhaps except Kris Humphries, who finished with 12 points and 8 rebounds against his former team. Gerald Wallace played poorly, scoring only 4 points on 2-9 shooting. The Celtics lacked a center to match up with the Nets’ height in the paint throughout the game.
An addition to Garnett and Terry resting, Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko, and Tyshawn Taylor did not play. First round draft selection Mason Plumlee played for over 20 minutes and showed flashes of his athleticism with a dunk, 2 blocks, and 5 rebounds, but did commit 3 turnovers. Chris Johnson, the clutch player in tonight’s game and perhaps the unsung hero of Brooklyn’s fourth quarters this preseason, had 7 points.
The Nets preseason continues at home against the Miami Heat on Thursday at 8:00.