BOSTON — Mad Brad was on full display following the Boston Celtics’ fourth-quarter collapse, which led to their second straight overtime defeat with the latter coming against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday at TD Garden.
Head coach Brad Stevens called out the team after the Celtics allowed just their second-ever 50-plus point quarter, according to NBC Sports Boston’s Abby Chin. The Celtics had not allowed a 50-point quarter since the Buffalo Braves scored 58 points in 1972.
It was the driving force behind Boston’s 129-120 overtime defeat to the Nets, which prompted the stern message from Stevens.
Dink Lipe with perspective: This is only the second time Celtics have ever allowed 50+ points in a quarter. Other time was 58 vs Buffalo Braves 1972.
— Abby Chin (@tvabby) March 4, 2020
“We got four stops in the fourth quarter, they scored 51 points,” Stevens said postgame. “We made a lot of plays late that were just not winning plays, pretty simple. Basic parts of our defensive system, but they (Brooklyn) deserve to win.
“We didn’t get the ball in twice. Terrible,” Stevens added.
Marcus Smart committed a foul on a 3-point shot with 1.4 seconds remaining in regulation. Caris LeVert connected on all three to send it to overtime. That play followed the Nets forcing a jump ball after Kemba Walker fumbled an in-bounds pass with the C’s clinging to a 118-115 lead.
The defeat is all the more head-scratching considering the various leads the Celtics held, not only throughout the majority of regulation, but in the final quarter.
The Celtics held a 17-point edge at the start of the fourth, a 13-point lead with 4:14 left, a seven-point lead with 56 seconds left and a two-possession, four-point lead with 10.4 seconds left and a three-point lead with merely 1.4 seconds left.
Quite a collapse from the #Celtics tonight. C's held a 17-point lead entering Q4, a 13-point lead with 4:14 left, a 7-point lead with 56 seconds left & a 4-point lead with 10.4 left in regulation. Ultimately, they fall 129-120 to the Nets, who scored 51 points in the fourth.
— Sean T. McGuire (@BySeanMcGuire) March 4, 2020
The Celtics, of course, were dealing with a fair share of injuries as four of their five normal starters did not play in overtime. Jayson Tatum was out due to illness, Walker was on a minutes restriction, Jaylen Brown was sidelined with a groin injury while Gordon Hayward did not play in the second half due to a right knee contusion.
“I have no idea who’s going to Cleveland,” Stevens said in reference to the Celtics’ game against the Cavaliers on Wednesday. “I think most of the coaches are going, couple players. You know, I just want eight guys, nine guys, whoever’s going to play hard, let’s go. Like, that was ridiculous.”
Here are some other notes from Tuesday’s Celtics-Nets game:
— Walker will not travel to Cleveland for Wednesday’s game.
Walker played 23 minutes against the Nets, obeying the 20-25 minute restriction Stevens talked about pregame.
He did not pay during the overtime period due to the restriction. He finished with 21 points after coming back from a five-game absence.
— Hayward was ruled out for the second half due to a second-quarter right knee contusion and will also miss Wednesday’s game.
Hayward proclaimed himself “out” due to the knee soreness, while adding he would be taking it “day-by-day.”
Hayward finished the game with seven points and two assists on 3-for-8 from the field. He played 17 minutes in the first half.
— Brown threw down an impressive 360 slam dunk during the first quarter.
— While there were not many positives encompassing the end of the fourth quarter, the offensive production from Robert Williams was one of them.
Williams finished with 10 points in 10 minutes. During the fourth quarter, Williams finished a tip-slam, drew a foul where he hit one of two at the line and then finished on an and-1 dunk to extend the Celtics lead 113-108 with 1:16 left.
— The Celtics look to put an end to their two-game losing skid as they travel to face the Cavaliers at 7 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images