The Celtics gave their fans the Christmas gift of an easy victory in Brooklyn.
Celebrating the holiday in fashion, the Boston Celtics defeated the Brooklyn Nets, 93-76, in the first match-up of Christmas Day. It's the first time that Boston has beat Brooklyn this season after dropping the two prior meetings.
After a competitive first quarter that saw Brooklyn holding a two-point lead, the Celtics dominated the second quarter to carry a 56-42 lead into halftime. That momentum was sustained early in the third quarter, as Boston expanded its lead to 21 points before the Nets responded with an abbreviated run.
Holding a 64-43 lead with roughly seven minutes left in the third period, it seemed like the Celtics were running away with things before the Nets responded with a 15-2 run. Boston returned the favor at the end of the quarter, however, showing a tad of urgency in finishing off the quarter on a 7-0 run.
With a double-digit lead going into the fourth quarter, the Celtics simply locked down on the defensive end in the fourth quarter to ease their way to victory.
Boston's work on the defensive end was particularly impressive all game, limiting the Nets to just 41 percent shooting from the field while forcing Brooklyn into 20 turnovers. The Celtics found better shots, making 49 percent of their total attempts and 60 percent of their shots from three-point range.
Rajon Rondo didn't put up his typically huge assist numbers against Brooklyn, dishing just five dimes, but he led all scorers with 19 points on 8-of-16 shooting. Jared Sullinger also had a big game for Boston, tying a season-high with 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting in addition to grabbing seven rebounds.
Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace led the Nets in scoring with 15 points apiece. The team's usual leading scorers, guards Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, struggled throughout the game, shooting a combined 7-of-21 from the floor.