The Celtics, losers of seven of their last eight, were in desperate need of a bounce-back game at home. After getting blown out by the Golden State Warriors at home on Wednesday, Boston’s road didn’t get any easier when Brooklyn came to town.
Rondo led the Celtics with 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds on the night, Brooklyn shot a miserable 4-for-30 from 3-point range, and Boston handed the Nets their first loss in six games by the final score of 91-84.
"The effort was pretty good all night," said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens after the game. "I liked the intensity and the bounce back."
Rondo had 16 of his 20 points in the first half.
The Celtics opened things up by outscoring Brooklyn 26-20 in the first quarter, then 27-21 in the second. Brooklyn failed to grab the lead at any point past the first quarter.
The Celtics won the battle of the boards 51-28. Jared Sullinger led the C’s with 12 rebounds, while Rondo, Kris Humphries, and Kelly Olynyk each had 7.
Boston did turn the ball over 25 times, allowing the Nets to stick around until the end of the fourth.
"I'm not too worried about it, it is what it is," Stevens said. "They put some pressure on us, and we dribbled too deep."
Sullinger and Olynyk both fouled out before the game’s conclusion.
Jeff Green added 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting for Boston, while Jerryd Bayless had 14.
Joe Johnson, 21, and Deron Williams, 20, led the Nets effort. Paul Pierce only had 10 points and three rebounds in 33 minutes in his second return to Boston.