Gordon Hayward and the Boston Celtics continued to roll into the new year on their home court Monday.
G-Time tallied 12 points off the bench and the Celtics defended the Garden on Monday, holding off the Brooklyn Nets 116-95. Boston has played all three of their games in 2019 at home and thus far remains unbeaten in the new calendar, continuing a trend of dominance on their home court that has lasted the length of the season. At 14-5, the Celtics have one of the best home records in the entire NBA and they will be looking to carry the momentum into Wednesday’s game at home against the Indiana Pacers.
Monday night’s game against Brooklyn saw the Nets get on the board first and the visiting team actually pulled out to a 12-2 lead in the first two minutes of action. However, the Celtics needed just three minutes to pull the rug out from underneath the Nets and take the lead.
The Cs had at eight players score double digits in the win, with Kyrie Irving putting up the Celtics game-high of 17 in his return from an eye injury. All five of Boston’s starters scored at least 10 points, while Gordon led the bench effort with his 12 points. No. 20 also led the bench with 26 minutes played.
The Celtics offense was clicking on all cylinders Monday night as the team put up better numbers than Brooklyn in almost all offensive categories. Boston shot 50.5 percent shooting from the field, including connecting on 37.5 percent of their attempts from deep. Furthermore, the Celtics dominated down low, tallying 56 points in the paint to 38 for the Nets.
All members of the C shared the ball at an impressive clip, tallying 35 assists, helping each other out and working toward a team win. The Celtics only turned the ball over 14 times and capitalized on most of the Nets’ 25 turnovers. And that’s where perhaps the most profound stat of the whole game came in to play. The Cs dominated in transition, tallying 24 fast break points to Brooklyn’s eight.
Making plays for each other has been part of Celtics coach Brad Stevens’ credo for his deep and talented roster, and it’s all seemed to come together in recent weeks with Boston proving how dangerous they can be with so many weapons spacing the floor offensively. Their depth makes it very difficult for opposing defenses to guard for a full 48 minutes.
“We have so many talented players, so the more we get everybody involved the harder it’s going to be for [opposing teams] to defend,” Hayward said. “It allows everyone to make plays and [ball movement has] been a huge emphasis for us.”
Depth has been a problem with many other teams this season, especially with injuries. But Boston has been able to use theirs as a strength. The only injury on the Celtics’ roster currently is to center Aron Baynes, who remains sidelined with a hand injury. With most of his roster healthy, Stevens isn’t relying too heavily on any particular player and is instead playing seven to nine players all near the same amount of minutes, which allows him to keep his team fresh and healthy.
That freshness will be challenged later this week as Boston encounters its first back-to-back of the new year. The set starts on Wednesday night against the Pacers at TD Garden, where the Celtics will be looking to keep their winning streak alive. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET. Then the Cs are right back in action on Thursday in Miami with another 7 p.m. tip-off from American Airlines Arena, for Boston’s first road game of 2019. That game can be seen nationally on TNT.