Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets
When: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, January 14, 2019
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BROOKLYN – The Boston Celtics followed four consecutive home wins with back-to-back losses on the road, and star point guard Kyrie Irving is not happy. The Celtics will try to respond to Irving’s latest attempt at motivating the team and salvage the finale of the three-game trip when they visit the Brooklyn Nets.
Irving credited a team meeting for giving Boston the boost it needed to average 120 points during the four-game homestand but was dismayed after a 105-103 loss at Orlando on Saturday about the team’s inconsistency. “I know from the majority of fact that we’re better than most teams in this league,” Irving told reporters. “It’s just going out and proving it every single night and demanding it and actually showing it. So, until we do that every single night and realize our depth is a positive and all the wishes and could-haves and should have done that, once that goes out the window, then we’ll be better.”
The good version of the Celtics showed up for a 116-95 win over the Nets at home last Monday, and Brooklyn followed that with a home win over Atlanta before falling at Toronto on Friday. “If you say you’re going to be a playoff team, we have to beat playoff teams,” Brooklyn forward Ed Davis told reporters. “It’s easy to beat the Hawks and Knicks and teams like that, but you really see where you’re at when you play Toronto, Boston, at Houston, at Orlando, games like that. You really see where you’re at.”
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCS Boston, YES (Brooklyn)
ABOUT THE CELTICS (25-17): Boston’s inconsistency was on the minds of the players and the coaches following Saturday’s loss, which featured the team squandering a double-digit, second-half lead. “It’s definitely a little frustrating,” swingman Gordan Hayward told reporters. “Puzzling is a good word. … We have stretches where we’re really, really good, and really tough. And we have other stretches where we’re not at all.” Irving led the team with 25 points in Saturday’s loss but went 0-of-5 from beyond the arc as part of a team effort that saw the Celtics connect on 8-of-32 from 3-point range.
ABOUT THE NETS (21-23): Brooklyn is 13-5 over its last 18 games and is battling for a playoff spot in the East, raising expectations for a team that was supposed to still be in rebuilding mode. The Nets held an early lead at East-leading Toronto on Friday but were outscored 71-40 in the second and third quarters and committed 17 turnovers in the 122-105 setback. “I rarely say this about our team, but I didn’t love the effort and execution,” coach Kenny Atkinson told reporters. “When you have both of those go wrong, that’s when you get beat by 20. To beat an elite team on the road, our effort and our execution was nowhere near where it needed to be. We’ve got good guys. They understand it. They understand we’ve got Boston coming up, and if we have the same effort and execution, you’re going to take (a 20-point loss) on the chin.”
1. Celtics PG Terry Rozier is 1-of-13 from the field over the last two games.
2. Nets SF Jared Dudley (hamstring) sat out Friday and is day-to-day.
3. Boston took the last 10 in the series, including five in a row at Brooklyn.