Brook Lopez, Nets beat Celtics for 2nd time this season
BOSTON — Brook Lopez's size was too much for Boston's smaller lineup.
The 7-footer scored a season-high 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, leading the Brooklyn Nets to a 100-97 victory over the Celtics on Saturday.
"I did my best to make the right play every time, realizing that, and just tried to read the double teams," said Lopez, who scored seven of his points in a key 9-2 run when Boston was making its charge with a smaller, trapping lineup.
"We had guys open everywhere," Nets coach Lionel Hollins said. "It was just a matter of being aggressive."
Joe Johnson added 20 points, Thaddeus Young 16 with 10 boards, and Bojan Bogdanovic 13 points for the Nets, who won for just the third time in 11 games.
Isaiah Thomas had 24 points, Jae Crowder 16 and Evan Turner 12 for Boston. The Celtics dropped their second straight after a season-high four-game winning streak.
Boston coach Brad Stevens said that he needed "to do a better job" after the Celtics fell to a weaker opponent again. Boston lost to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.
"I've got to hold guys accountable at a better level," Stevens said. "We're not playing as well as we think we are, so we've got to be better."
Boston guard Marcus Smart said the players need to realize they're not performing up to the coach's standard.
"That's just coach being coach," he said. "He cares too much. He's a competitor still so he's going to feel like it's his fault. Ultimately, we're the ones out there playing. He puts us in great position to succeed and we failed on each other."
Nets guard Jarrett Jack left the game after crumbling to the court and grabbing his right knee late in the third quarter. The team said it was a sprain.
Brooklyn led by 10 entering the final quarter, but the Celtics opened the fourth with a 12-2 run, tying it on Turner's baseline fallaway jumper.
But Lopez had a 3-point play and a pair of baskets, moving the Nets ahead 92-85 on his flip in the lane with 5:34 to play.
Boston closed it to 98-95 on Crowder's 3-point play with 39 seconds left, but Lopez had a dunk 12 seconds later. Jonas Jerebko missed a corner 3 in the closing seconds and the clock ran out on Boston before Crowder could attempt a 3.
There was a skirmish early in the second half when Boston's Jared Sullinger had a hard foul on Lopez, which was ruled a flagrant 1. Both players fell to the floor, and Jack yelled something down at Sullinger.
Crowder stepped in and the pair had to be separated. Jack and Crowder both got technicals.
Both teams got off to fast starts and were shooting over 50 percent for most of the first quarter. The Nets led 31-29 at the break and by one at halftime.
Nets: Hollins didn't think it was a big deal that the teams face each other in a home-and-home for the second time this season. "It doesn't matter," he said. "Games come." The teams split the back-to-back matchups in November, with each winning at home.
Celtics: G Avery Bradley left the game in the second quarter with a bruised left hip. . Smart and Thomas also got technical fouls. ... G R.J. Hunter hurt his left shoulder in a D-League game on Thursday, but Stevens didn't think it was serious. "It seems like, from what I've been told, a short-term thing," Stevens said. ... They play four of their next five on the road.
Thomas had a driving basket in the first quarter, but lost his sneaker. He picked it up and tossed it to the Celtics' bench as he went back on defense. He was saved by a Nets' timeout, though, and didn't have to cover anyone.
Young has posted double-doubles in all three games against Boston.
The Nets and Celtics meet again on Monday night in Brooklyn.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.