Celtics Notes: Brad Stevens Unhappy With ‘Awful’ Third-Quarter Defense


Jan 14, 2019

Boston Celtics fans were used to seeing fourth-quarter comebacks in plenty of games last season and Monday looked as if it was going to follow that same pattern.

That wasn’t in the final game of the Celtics’ three-game road trip, however.

Boston dropped its third straight contest with a 107-102 loss to the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center, but the final score doesn’t indicate how lopsided the game really was. The Nets dropped 44 (!) points in the third quarter and led by as much as 27 in the fourth.

Head coach Brad Stevens understandably was unhappy with the C’s defense in the third quarter and didn’t hold back after the game.

“We were guarding for three quarters tonight and we chose one of the middle ones to take off,” Stevens said, as seen on NBC Sports Boston’s Celtics postgame coverage. “And third-quarter defense was awful and obviously they scored 44 and D’Angelo (Russell) got going. But we didn’t get a stop or a rebound there for the first four minutes of the quarter. You’re not gonna win games when you start like that. …For whatever reason our third-quarter defense was not there and we went on a drought and they just blew us out of the water.”

While Stevens was pleased with players who put forth the effort in the attempted comeback, he made sure to tip his cap to the Nets.

“I don’t want to take away from what Brooklyn did,” Stevens said. “The story shouldn’t be the comeback, the story should be how well they played.”

Here are some other notes from Monday’s Celtics-Nets game:

— Jayson Tatum had a career-high 34 points.

Jaylen Brown (22) and Brad Wanamaker (13) also had double-digit points, with Wanamaker’s serving as a career-high

— The Celtics finished their road trip with an 0-3 record after winning their previous four games heading into last Thursday.

Road contests continue to give Boston trouble. The Green are 10-13 away from TD Garden after Monday’s loss.

— Boston will need to put the loss behind it as it welcomes the Eastern Conference-leading Toronto Raptors to TD Garden on Wednesday and will look to snap Toronto’s five-game win streak.

Thumbnail photo via Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports Images
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