NBA, Nets vs Celtics: Nets extend their winning streak as Kevin Durant passes Allen Iverson in all-time scoring. The Nets defeated the Celtics, 123-104, at TD Garden in front of a sellout crowd of 19,156 on Thanksgiving Eve.
With the victory, Brooklyn improves their Eastern Conference best-record to 14-5 (two-game lead) and adds another win to their league-best road record — 8-2.
Patty Mills was in FIBA Patty Mode. He continued his historic 3-point shooting with another stellar sharpshooting show of 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting overall and 7-of-10 from deep in 33 minutes.
The veteran guard has now drilled seven or more threes in a game for the third time this season — Mills hit seven or more threes in a game only three times in his first 12 seasons combined. For the season, he’s drilled threes at a 50.4 percent rate and during Joe Harris’ absences, he’s at 54.5 percent. No more worry about finding warm clothes. He’s hot enough, noted the owner.
Brooklyn finished with five players in double-figures. Kevin Durant scored 21 points, handed out eight assists, and grabbed four rebounds in 37 minutes followed by James Harden with 20 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds in 36 minutes. LaMarcus Aldridge, who started for the first time this season, finished with 17 points and nine boards in 29.
The nets are looking dominant this season. The Nets scorching offense finished the blowout shooting 50.6 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from deep. Only a 76.7 percent mark from the line prevented Brooklyn from going 50/40/90.
Brooklyn went with Aldridge at the 5 to pair with Harden, Mills, Durant, and DeAndre’ Bembry to start off the contest. Nash put an emphasis on his players starting the game on a strong note and his players delivered behind the play of Mills, who drilled three 3-pointers in the opening four minutes of play to give Brooklyn an early 12-5 advantage.
The Celtics mounted a comeback without Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown on the floor. Boston was sharp with their passes and the cutters capitalized on the pockets of space opened by the Nets switching defense to trim the deficit to 24-18 with 2:34 remaining. The Nets ended the first period with a seven-point lead (29-22), led by Durant with 10 points in 12 minutes, followed by Mills with nine points. Thomas provided a small spark with four points in seven minutes off the bench.
The offense caught fire early from behind the arc in the second. Brooklyn forged an 11-3 run in the opening two minutes to build their advantage to 40-25. Boston responded with a small 7-2 run to cut the deficit to nine but that was the closest the Celtics got in the frame.
On defense, Boston simply couldn’t find an answer to shrink the floor, resulting in the Nets getting open looks and capitalizing. Thomas served as a catalyst in the frame. He heated up on both ends, scoring four points and pinning a shot on the defensive end, ending the half with eight points off the bench.
It was the Brooklyn Way in the third powered by dominance.
The Celtics quickly found themselves in a bigger hole in the opening minutes of the third, trailing by 21 points after an 11-3 run from Brooklyn, adding a layer of frustration over the no-calls continued to brew. The shots continued to fall consistently as Brooklyn pushed their spacing and Boston failed to shrink the floor on offense and the Nets defense restricted the Celtics ball movement. The Nets ballooned their lead to 29 with five minutes remaining in the frame and when the quarter buzzer sounded, Brooklyn held a commanding 97-76 advantage with five players in double-figures — Aldridge (17), Mills (17), Durant (16), Harden (15) and Thomas (11).
The Nets will host the Suns on Saturday, November 27 at Barclays Center. The game is scheduled to tip at 7:30 p.m. ET.