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Bradley, Thomas lead Celtics to 120-95 win over Nets

Last modified: 11/25/2015 12:59:40 AM
Avery Bradley has taken over Isaiah Thomas’s role as instant offense off the bench for the Boston Celtics.

Bradley scored 21 points Friday night in a 120-95 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. He has reached double figures in all four games since coming back from a calf injury, and it was the second time during that stretch that he scored 21.

“I have a chip on my shoulder and I’m going out there and playing as hard as I can,” said Bradley, who has shot 55 percent over the last four games.

The Celtics helped themselves in more ways than one by beating Brooklyn.

Boston owns the Nets’ first-round draft choice next year as a result of the blockbuster trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn in 2013. So every time the Nets lose, it increases Boston’s chances of getting a high pick after this season.

Bradley had eight points in the second quarter, when the Celtics went 18-for-21 from the field (86 percent) and closed with a 26-7 run.

“I said before the game I like those guys coming off the bench because of the scoring pop they give us, and sometimes you really need that,” Coach Brad Stevens said. “And he’s given it to us now four straight games.”

Thomas, who moved into the starting lineup when Bradley returned to health, added 18 points and nine assists. Thomas scored all 14 of his first-half points – including four 3-pointers – during the second-quarter spurt.

“He’s doing a good job of getting other guys involved,” Stevens said. “Then they found him – that’s when he made his 3s.”

Jae Crowder had 19 points, Evan Turner scored 12 and David Lee 11 for the Celtics, who took the opener of a home-and-home set between the Atlantic Division rivals. Boston won for the fourth time in five games and pulled to 3-3 at home.

The 25-point margin of victory was the largest of the season for the Celtics.

“That was a disappointing performance,” Nets Coach Lionel Hollins said. “I’m surprised that we put up a performance like that, but they had a lot to do with it on the other side.”

The Nets (2-11) shot 42 percent in the first half and turned the ball over 11 times, including four times during Boston’s second-quarter surge. It was the ninth time this season they were held under 100 points.

Thaddeus Young had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets, his fifth double-double after posting three last season.

“We played terrible. That’s the only thing you can say right now,” Young said.

Brook Lopez also scored 14 points, and rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added a career-high 13.


Nets: Lopez and Shane Larkin were the only two Nets to shoot better than 50 percent. … Lopez has led the team in scoring eight times this season. … It was the Nets’ worst shooting performance and defensive effort of the season. They shot 39 percent to Boston’s 59 percent.

Celtics: All seven of Boston’s wins have been by at least 13 points. … The Celtics scored 66 points in the first half, their second-most this season. They had 72 in a Nov. 6 win over Washington. … G Marcus Smart left in the fourth quarter with a bruised right knee. He was scheduled for an MRI on Saturday.

Up next

Nets: Host Boston on Sunday.

Celtics: At Brooklyn on Sunday.

Pelicans 104, Spurs 90

Anthony Davis had 20 points and 18 rebounds in his return from a sore shoulder, and New Orleans beat San Antonio for its second victory of the season.

Ryan Anderson hit six 3-pointers and scored 30 points for the second straight game. Ish Smith had 17 points and 13 assists for New Orleans (2-11), which snapped a five-game skid.

Kawhi Leonard scored 22 points for San Antonio, which lost for only the third time this season and had its six-game winning streak snapped. LaMarcus Aldridge left briefly in the first quarter after twisting his left ankle, but returned and finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Eric Gordon scored 11 points for New Orleans, including a 3-pointer that gave the Pelicans a 100-88 lead with 2:59 remaining.


Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points and New York beat Oklahoma City for its third straight victory.

The Thunder rallied from a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter, but Dion Waiters’s potential tying shot rattled out at the buzzer.

Arron Afflalo scored 14 points, and Lance Thomas added 12 for the Knicks.

Russell Westbrook led Oklahoma City with 34 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, but the NBA’s No. 3 scorer made just 11 of 29 shots and went 2-of-10 on 3-pointers. Oklahoma City fell to 2-3 without Kevin Durant. He sat out with a strained left hamstring.

HORNETS 113, 76ERS 88

Al Jefferson had 26 points and 10 rebounds and Charlotte beat winless Philadelphia.

The 76ers dropped to 0-13 and haven’t won since last March 27. They have dropped 23 in a row overall and are nearing the NBA record for longest losing streak that they already share.

The Hornets improved to 7-6, and are now 5-1 at home after winning their last five home contests.

Point guard Kemba Walker added 20 points and seven assists for Charlotte.

Nerlens Noel led the Sixers with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting.


Deron Williams scored a season-high 23 points, Dirk Nowitzki had 19 and Dallas beat Utah for its sixth straight victory.The Mavericks led 92-87 when Williams hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game. He then grabbed a defensive rebound and assisted on a jumper by Nowitzki. Williams, who played his first 5½ NBA seasons with the Jazz, also had eight assists and a season-high six rebounds.

Nowitzki was 8-of-12 from the field and made all three of his 3-point attempts.

Gordon Hayward scored 22 points for Utah.


Mike Conley scored 26 points, Marc Gasol had 16 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, and Memphis beat Houston.

Matt Barnes finished with 12 points and Mario Chalmers added 10 to help Memphis won its fourth straight.

James Harden led the Rockets with 22 points, but missed six of his seven shots from beyond the arc. Trevor Ariza had 19 points, and Dwight Howard had 12 points and 15 rebounds. The Rockets have lost five of their last six, going 1-1 since Kevin McHale was fired and J.B. Bickerstaff took over as interim coach.


Andre Drummond had 21 points and 11 rebounds to help lift Detroit past Minnesota.

Marcus Morris had 16 points and 11 rebounds and the scuffling Pistons grinded out a victory after losing four of their previous five games. Reggie Jackson scored 18 points, including two tough drives to the in the final three minutes to help hold off a late charge from Minnesota.

Andrew Wiggins scored 21 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 18 points and seven rebounds for the Timberwolves. They are 0-6 at home.


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