The Boston Celtics found their groove in the second half and find themselves clinging to a 47-45 halftime lead over the Brooklyn Nets.
Despite this being a preseason game, there was some regular season intensity early on with bodies flying to the floor on both sides.
Isaiah Thomas, who was among those to take a spill in the first half, was whistled for a technical foul in the first quarter.
Boston’s starting unit, which has played well coming into Thursday’s game, weren’t able to get off to a fast, dominant start. In fact, the Nets led 27-23 after the first.
But the second quarter was a different story as Boston’s defense began to pick up, racking up steals, contesting shots which was then converted into scores.
It didn’t take long before Boston found multiple combinations that worked.
A constant cog in the more successful Celtics groupings was Al Horford who led all Celtics at the half with 11 points and 8 rebounds. Boston also got a strong first half from Thomas who had 8 points
What we liked: Marcus Smart’s energy and decision-making were in midseason form in the first half. He came off the bench to score 8 points along with four assists and two rebounds plus a steal.
What we didn’t like: Brooklyn’s Anthony Bennett reminded us all why he’s arguably the worst No. 1 overall pick in NBA history. If it wasn’t Tyler Zeller pinning his shots on the glass or Amir Johnson gobbling it up, he was just missing lay-ups. In the first half, he was scoreless on 0-for-5 shooting with one rebound and one steal.
Second half needs: Boston’s defense was quite active in the first half, tallying five blocks and five steals. They need to continue along those lines, and maybe knock down a few more shots. The Celtics missed 13 of their 17 3-point attempts in the first half.