Nets and Celtics Start New Atlantic Division Rivalry
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS — The Boston Celtics lost to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night 95-83 in a game that witnessed three ejections. The Nets are tied for the Atlantic division lead with the New York Knicks at 10-4.
After losing to the Nets earlier this month, the Celtics’ lack of fire during the first half was disturbing. Blatche had a dominating dunk on the Celts in the first quarter that infuriated Boston coach Doc Rivers. Only 4:34 into Tuesday nights game, he received his first technical foul of the season.
To make things worse, the Nets had an 11-0 run that ran into the second quarter that pushed their lead to 33-20. This 13 point lead escalated to 21 points before Garnett and the rest of the Celtics made a slight recovery. However, all hope was lost for the Celtics at the end of the second quarter.
Kevin Garnett was fouled hard by Kris Humphries with less than a minute to go in the first half. Rajon Rondo came to Garnett’s aid and started a fight with Humphries that lead to his ejection from the game. Humphries was also ejected and Gerald Wallace of the Nets was issued his second technical of the game, leading to his ejection as well. Garnett also received a technical foul, but remained in the game.
All of this anger stemmed from the lack of calls in favor of the Celtics. All three foul shots by the Celtics were from technical fouls.
The rest of the game was back and forth, with neither team showing any heart. The Celtics cut the Nets’ lead to 9 two times in the fourth quarter, but never came any closer.
Besides Rondo’s ejection and likely 2-5 game suspension, the Celtics lost Wilcox in the first half due to an unknown illness. Jeff Green injured his ankle in the third quarter, but returned in the fourth. The Nets ended the game with a 12 point victory, and secured a 2.5 game lead on the Celtics.
This disaster of a game will be overshadowed by the Rondo fight. He is likely facing a multiple game suspension and fine by the league. With no real backup guards, the Celtics are looking at a tough two weeks ahead. This is the second time this year the Nets easily handled the Celtics, who have lost the grip on their Atlantic division dominance. At 8-7 and currently in fourth place in the Atlantic division, the Celtics need to regroup if they want a shot at the playoffs.