The Boston Celtics recorded a historic, statement win over their Eastern Conference rival, the Brooklyn Nets. You have to see these stats to believe them.
If you pulled up the NBA scoreboard last night around 7:30 ET you may have been in for a shock. Royce O’Neale hit a 3-pointer for the Nets just over two minutes into the first quarter. Brooklyn didn’t make another basket for six minutes and watched the score jump to 14-3 (on a Kyrie-trolling 3 from Jaylen Brown), then 21-3, then 37-9, then, well you get the point.
Things got (slightly) better for the Nets after that first quarter but they ended up taking a 43-point loss in a game where Boston only needed 31 and 29 minutes from Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.
Yes, the Nets were playing without Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons. But this was still an epic beatdown in a matchup between two Eastern Conference contenders. Here are some of the craziest numbers from a game Celtics fans will remember for a long time, and Nets fans will be trying hard to forget.
3. The Celtics led 46-16 at the end of the first quarter
That’s a 30-point lead after 12 minutes of basketball. Repeated for four quarters, we would have been looking at a final score of 186-72. It wasn’t the highest-scoring first quarter in NBA history — nine teams have managed 50 or more — but none of those other teams had managed to build a 30-point lead by the end of one.
2. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown topped 25 points, again
Tatum and Brown went for 31 and 26 points, respectively. According to ESPN Stats and Info, this was the 27th time this season they had both scored 25 or more in the same game, which put them in historic territory as a high-scoring duo — no other pair of teammates in NBA history has scored 25+ in the same game more often before the All-Star Break. It’s a bit of an obscure benchmark but still indicative of just how good both players have been for the Celtics this season.
Tatum and Brown were an identical 7-of-12 from beyond the arc, an impressive showing when neither player is hitting better than 36 percent on the season. They also combined for 7 assists to just 3 turnovers.
1. The Celtics have beaten the Nets 10 straight times
The Celtics just have the Nets’ number. This was the third time they’ve beaten them this season. They swept them in the first round of the playoffs last year. They won their last three regular-season meetings against the Nets last season. That’s 10 in a row.
The Celtics lost their first game against the Nets in the 2021-22 season, 123-104 on Nov. 24 2021. But they’re now 10-1 against Brooklyn since they were eliminated by them in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
FiveThirtyEight’s projection model now has the Celtics finishing first in the East and the Nets finishing fourth, behind the Bucks and 76ers. If that held and both teams won their first-round series they’d meet again in the second round. They’ll have one more regular-season meeting on Mar. 3, in Boston, when Kevin Durant would likely be back in the lineup for Brooklyn.
Subscribe to The Whiteboard, FanSided’s daily email newsletter on everything basketball. If you like The Whiteboard, share it with someone you love! If you don’t like The Whiteboard, share it with someone you loathe!
Got a basketball question? Send it to us on Twitter or by email and we’ll try to answer it in our Friday mailbag.
Check out the newest episode of The Step Back Podcast
Hosts Ethan Skolnick and Brady Hawk deep dive on All-Star rosters and share their picks for starters and reserves in the Western Conference. Subscribe to the show on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Content from around the FanSided network
Latest NBA Trade Rumors
We’re seven days away from the NBA Trade Deadline. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest trade rumors:
- Pistons: Marc Stein is reporting he expects the Pistons to keep Bojan Bogdanovic and that it would take a draft pick to pry away Saddiq Bey or Alec Burks.
- Hornets: Chris Haynes has reported that the Hornets have joined the Timberwolves in inquiring about Bones Hyland.
- Cavaliers: Haynes also mentioned that he believes the Cleveland Cavaliers could be the frontrunner to land Cam Reddish from the Knicks. The Mavericks are also a possible destination.
- Wizards: Finally, Haynes said that Will Barton is looking for a way out of Washington and mentioned the Nets and Bucks as possible destinations.
- Raptors: Michael Grange is reporting that the Raptors are likely asking a protected first or a pair of seconds, at a minimum for Gary Trent Jr.
- Hawks: Sam Amick has reported the asking price for John Collins is dropping and the Hawks haven’t been very open to trading Bogdan Bogdanovic, despite plenty of inquiries.