The Boston Celtics had no answer for the Brooklyn Nets in the third quarter Monday night.
A 44-point third from Brooklyn and 34 total points from D’Angelo Russell were too much for Boston as it dropped its third straight contest in a 109-102 loss at Barclays Center.
The Celtics shot just 32.6 percent from the field and 31.6 percent from three in the first half to add to the road woes they’ve faced throughout this three-game trip.
Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with a career-high 34 points, with Jaylen Brown (22) and Brad Wanamaker (13) being the only other shooters to tally double digits.
With the loss, the Celtics slipped to 25-18, while the Nets climbed to 22-23.
Here’s how it all went down:
PG: Terry Rozier
SG: Jaylen Brown
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Marcus Morris Sr.
C: Al Horford
TOUGH START FOR C’S
It took all of 29 seconds for Brad Stevens to call a timeout after Rozier turned the ball over and got lost on defense leading to a Russell 3-pointer. Rozier tied the game up with a three of his own, but the opening 12 minutes belonged to the Nets who took a 27-25 lead into the second.
Brooklyn went on an 8-0 run to take an early 15-12 lead, but Boston answered back and took a one-point advantage when Morris hit a fadeaway jumper and forced the Nets to call a timeout.
The Nets held on to a slim two-point lead, paced by Russel who had 10 points in 10 minutes. Morris led the C’s with eight, while Tatum was right behind him with six.
WANAMAKER CAPITALIZES ON PLAYING TIME
Boston was held scoreless for the first three minutes of the second until Brown hit a jumper to bring the C’s within four. They’d take the lead about halfway through the period when Horford sunk an easy basket. But Wanamaker stole the show and brought the Celtics within one at the 5:10 mark.
The game remained close throughout the second and Tatum brought the game within one in the final seconds with a left-handed layup. The Nets would go into the half with a 46-45 lead. The biggest lead either team held through the first half was just six points.
Russell continued to pace all shooters with 15 points, while Tatum led Boston with 10. Wanamaker made his presence known with eight points in 10 minutes.
NO ANSWER FOR RUSSELL
Much as they did all game, the Celtics played from behind but kept the game tight before the Nets started to build a sizeable gap when they went up 59-52 thanks to a Russel trey.
But Boston chipped away at Brooklyn’s lead with help from a Brown 3-pointer and monstrous Rozier dunk to come within two.
Brooklyn quickly answered back with a dunk shot of its own, forcing Stevens called for a timeout. The Nets continued to build their lead with huge help from Russell, who the Celtics just didn’t seem to have an answer for.
Brooklyn continued to extend its lead when it went on a 20-2 run to go up by 20 with 1:48 left in the third. The C’s tried to chip away at the deficit, but Russell and Co. put up 44 points in the frame and took a 24-point lead into the fourth.
Russell’s 33 points continued to lead all players while Tatum paced Boston with 19.
NETS CLOSE IT OUT
The Celtics came within 16 with 5:33 left to play, highlighted by a monster dunk from Brown.
Boston certainly made it interesting by trimming the Nets’ lead to seven with under two minutes remaining after Brooklyn led by as much as 27, but it wasn’t enough. Despite Tatum dropping 15 points in the quarter and helping the Celtics go on a 28-8 run, the C’s ultimately dropped their third straight contest.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Tatum does it all.
The Celtics will get back to work Wednesday when they welcome the Toronto Raptors to TD Garden. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports Images