Celtics score 46 first quarter points in dominant 139-96 win over Nets

Celtics score 46 first quarter points in dominant 139-96 win over Nets

The first quarter of Wednesday between the Celtics and Nets looked more like a matchup between the Globetrotters and the Generals.

In a game they eventually won, 139-96, Boston (37-15) played Brooklyn (31-20) in every way imaginable early. The Celtics built a 21-3 lead over the first four-plus minutes, extended it to 35-7 and led by an absurd 46-16 to one margin.

Let that sink in for a second. Forty-six to 16. It was a massacre.

“A couple of days off was good for us,” Jayson Tatum told ESPN’s Katie George. “We were fresh, locked in and ready to go from the start.”

Boston started 8 for 8 from 3-point range. Tatum outscored Brooklyn himself (18-16). The Celtics shot 62.1 percent from the field and 72.7 percent from 3, compared to Brooklyn’s 28.2 and 16.7 percent.

The Celtics played at an excellent pace, were remarkably efficient and showed no mercy. It was as impressive as it sounds.

Brooklyn fumbled early in the second quarter, cutting it to 22, but Boston closed the half on a 17-5 spurt to take a 79-45 lead into halftime. Kyrie Irving (20 points) and Company did everything they could, but the Celtics could not be stopped tonight.

Derrick White (14 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists) was in attack mode and gave Boston a boost in the second quarter. Jaylen Brown (26 points) went 3-for-3. Robert Williams (16 points, 9 rebounds) was strong at the rim in his return to action.

“To get where we want to go, we need Rob,” Tatum told George. “We want to keep him grounded and keep him healthy.”

Tatum, who finished with 31 points, was plus-42 at the half (that’s right; watch it) as the Celtics put together their highest-scoring first half since 1990.

The Celtics scored 100 with 5:03 left in the third and extended the lead to 110-72 heading into the fourth. Tatum made a 3 in the final seconds of the quarter, just for fun, and that was the end of his night. He finished plus-46.

Payton Pritchard, Luke Kornet and friends did their thing in the fourth quarter, but the final score was all that mattered at that point. The outcome was never really in doubt.

It was an easy win for the Celtics, but it was also important because they looked like the team they did during their nine-game winning streak. All of Boston’s last three home games had gone to overtime, but this one wasn’t as close.

The Celtics finished with 26 three-pointers, one shy of the franchise record, and have now won 10 straight over the Nets.

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