Celtics Wrap: Kemba Walker Leads Boston To 121-110 Win Over Nets


The Boston Celtics took down the Brooklyn Nets 120-108 Wednesday night behind 39 points from Kemba Walker.

Of course, Kyrie Irving’s absence stole the headlines entering the contest, but Boston’s new point guard quickly stole the show.

Jaylen Brown (22), Jayson Tatum (16), Daniel Theis (14), Brad Wanamaker (13) and Marcus Smart (10) all finished in double figures for Boston. 

Garrett Temple led the way for Brooklyn with 22 points.

The Celtics improved to 13-4 with the win, while the Nets moved to 9-9.

Here’s how it all went down:

PG:  Kemba Walker
SG: Marcus Smart
SF: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jayson Tatum
C: Daniel Theis

The Celtics were led by their 6-foot-8 five out of the gate, as Theis was 4-of-5 with eight points and three rebounds in the game’s first six minutes.

Brown posted eight first-quarter points as well, helping to pace Boston’s offense early on. He showcased some impressive post moves with very sharp footwork for two of those eight points.

Boston led 30-23 after one.

Brooklyn opened the second quarter with an 11-2 run over a 90-second span thanks to a spark from Garrett Temple and David Nwaba. The Nets took advantage of Enes Kanter’s lack of defensive prowess and attacked him inside, while also improving their transition game. But the real improvement came from long range.

Temple had 11 points in four second-quarter minutes early to help lead Brooklyn’s improved perimeter game. After going 2-for-11 from deep in the first quarter, the Nets opened the second frame 5-of-7 3PT.

Brooklyn’s 3-point shooting didn’t slow down, as they extended that stretch to a 9-for-13 shooting clip from beyond the arc later in the quarter, helping the Nets build a 60-51 lead.

The Nets ultimately hit 12 first-half 3-pointers, 10 of which came in the second quarter. They shot 53.2 percent over the first 24 minutes, giving Brooklyn a 63-57 lead at the break.

Temple led the visitors with 16 first-half points, but Walker’s 17 points at halftime were tops across all scorers.

Walker’s impressive effort continued into the third, as the point guard had 21 points by the nine-minute mark of the quarter.  He continued cooking, notching 13 third-quarter points midway through the frame, pushing him to 30 points on the night in just 23 minutes.

Cooking may even be an understatement — he was absurd during the third quarter.

He managed to keep Boston in this one, as Brooklyn’s shooting remained a tick about 50 percent for the night.

The Celtics snagged the lead with just over two minutes left in the third thanks to some solid hustle plays resulting in 11 second-chance points over the 12-minute frame. Boston held the lead for the remainder of the quarter and took a 91-86 score into the fourth.

Walker’s 13 third-quarter points gave him 30 points after three.

The Celtics extended their lead early in the fourth thanks to Wanamaker and the Boston defense created opportunities off some Brooklyn miscues. Wanamaker’s fourth bucket of the night gave the Celtics a 10-point lead roughly four minutes into the final frame, making it his fourth double-figure outing in Boston’s last five games.

Brooklyn refused to go away, however, cutting right back into the deficit and making it a three-point game with just over five minutes to go, setting up a tight finish.

Walker continued to keep the Celtics above water later, nabbing his season-high 35th point with over 2:30 left in the game. He’d be too much for the Nets, as Boston picked up its 12th win of the year.

Kemba is just ridiculous.

The Celtics head to Brooklyn Friday for Game 2 of the home-and-home set. Tip-off from Barclays Center is set for 12 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images

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