Celtics Wrap: Amir Johnson, R.J. Hunter Impress Vs. Nets In 109-105 Win


No Marcus Smart, no problem.

The Boston Celtics got off on the right foot Wednesday night in their first preseason game on U.S. soil, defeating the Brooklyn Nets 109-105 at the Barclays Center to move to 3-0 on the preseason.

Smart (illness), Terry Rozier (knee), Avery Bradley (rest) and David Lee (rest) all didn’t suit up for the Celtics, allowing the rest of the roster to earn some minutes.

Amir Johnson led the way for Boston offensively, tallying a game-high 19 points while adding six rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Isaiah Thomas also came to play, tallying 17 points and a game-high nine assists.

Isaiah Thomas, Evan Turner, Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, Kelly Olynyk

Johnson got his first start in a Celtics uniform Wednesday night, and he made the most of it.

The veteran forward came out hot on both ends of the floor, racking up 12 points, four rebounds and a steal in the first quarter alone. He even knocked down a pair of 3-pointers.

R.J. Hunter also distinguished himself from the pack with some impressive play.

The rookie was all over the place, nailing three 3-pointers in the first half and finishing the night with 11 points, four rebounds, four assists, four steals and a block in a game-high 30 minutes of action.

Hunter considerably outplayed second-year guard James Young (three points on 1-for-4 shooting), who figures to be one of his main competitors for a spot in the back end of Boston’s rotation.

Nets guard Jarrett Jack apparently was a little too excited for Wednesday night’s game. He was assessed a flagrant 2 foul and was ejected in the first quarter after this hard foul on Jonas Jerebko:

Jared Sullinger didn’t have the best night.

The Celtics big man, who doesn’t have much room for error, finished the night with a rough plus-minus of minus-8. He managed just three points on 1-for-8 shooting and tallied four fouls in 12 minutes of play.

Kelly Olynyk, meanwhile, also racked up four fouls in the first half but came alive with 11 points in the fourth quarter. Strong efforts from Olynyk and Johnson certainly don’t bode well for Sullinger in his quest for playing time.

A friendly reminder that this is still the preseason.

The Celtics will cross the East River and head north to Madison Square Garden, where they’ll take on the New York Knicks in their second preseason contest against NBA competition. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Boston Celtics forward Amir Johnson (90) defends against Brooklyn Nets forward Thaddeus Young (30) during first half at Barclays Center.
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