The Brooklyn Nets finally put together their first winning streak of the season Tuesday night, defeating the Boston Celtics 104-96 in Brooklyn. The Nets played a full 48-minute game for the first time in a long time and are healthier than they’ve been since the Phoenix game many weeks ago. The Nets were led by Deron Williams in his return, scoring 25 points and dishing out 7 assists. Brook Lopez also had 24 points. Avery Bradley scored 22 for Boston.
The Nets jumped out to a nice lead tonight and never really looked back. There were some nervous moments in the third quarter when Boston tied the game at 60, but the Nets eventually pulled away in the quarter and actually put together one of their best third quarters of the year.
The biggest difference we saw tonight was the excellent passing on offense. Despite Deron Williams’s many injuries, when he is healthy he makes the offense look so much better.
Player grades and notes:
Kevin Garnett: B-
Definitely one of KG’s better games. He actually scored in double figures tonight and finished with 11 points and 9 rebounds. He had a couple of big plays in the fourth quarter too, including a big rebound with a little over a minute remaining. Hopefully he will start playing better on offense with Deron Williams back in the lineup.
Brook Lopez: A
Brook didn’t rebound much tonight, but he did almost everything else. He was a near perfect 10-13 from the field and he actually had a huge block in the third quarter. He was very efficient and only took good, smart shots. He was a good rim protector on defense as well.
Alan Anderson: A-
Anderson was also very efficient tonight, shooting 6-7 from the field. He played pretty good, tough defense as well. He should expect to see his minutes decrease with Paul Pierce back in the lineup now. Pierce will probably start moving forward.
Joe Johnson: D
Surprisingly invisible tonight. Despite playing 38 minutes, Joe had only 7 points and no assists. We expected his scoring to drop a bit with the Nets now finally healthier, but his number should not drop this much.
Deron Williams: A+
He didn’t re-injure his ankle! That’s the main reason he gets such a good grade. On top of that, he played a great game, scoring 25 points to go along with 7 assists. He looked great tonight and it makes us wonder why he wasn’t playing in earlier games like the Knicks game last Thursday. This was the best he’s looked since after the all-star break last year.
Paul Pierce: C
We thought that Pierce might struggle tonight playing with a brace on his hand and also playing against his former team for the first time. He did not record a field goal, but he did make 4 free throws and also had 7 rebounds and 3 assists, so he found other ways to contribute.
Andray Blatche: B-
This was an up-and-down game for Blatche. He had some very nice plays, especially in the third quarter and he nearly had a double-double, but he also took some very questionable shots. Pretty typical game for him.
The Nets will be back in action Thursday night in a familiar matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers. FRWD will have full coverage of the game.