|Chris Johnson's free throws sealed the game for Brooklyn|
The Brooklyn Nets improved to 3-1 on the preseason with a close win over the Celtics at the Barclays Center tonight. It was a homecoming for Keith Bogans, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, and Gerald Wallace, who came back to Brooklyn for the first time since being traded to Boston over the summer. It was also the first time that Paul Pierce has ever played against the Celtics as an opposing player. Pierce was drafted by the Celtics in 1998 and spent the first 15 years of his career in Boston before the June deal that sent him to the Nets.
Pierce didn't have the shooting touch against his old team but did manage to grab a game-high 10 rebounds, contributing to the win. Brook Lopez and Andray Blatche were the only Nets to reach double-digits in points (20 and 14 respectively) as the rest of Jason Kidd's team was ice cold from the field (Brooklyn shot 35.5% overall). Boston wasn't much better (35.6%) and tied the Nets in rebounds with 49.
However, this game really came down to the last 15 seconds as Chris Johnson hit two clutch free throws after a questionable foul call in the game's waning moments. Courtney Lee (former Net) missed a 13-footer as time expired, sealing the win for Brooklyn.
Some other observations I had from the game: #ReggieEvansReboundCount: 6 in 12 minutes. For a 24-minute game (what Reggie may play in the regular season), that would equate to 12 boards. Pretty good…..After a few good games in a row, Mirza took a step back tonight, shooting 2-10 from the floor (and only making 1-6 from three-point range). Alan Anderson was also 2-10…..Only four rebounds for Brook. He has yet to show any rebounding improvement so far.
Brooklyn takes on the mightly Miami Heat on Thursday at Barclays. Before the game is Jason Kidd's jersey retirement ceremony. Game will be on TNT, so it's about as important as a preseason game can get.