After the Nets defeated the short-handed Warriors, many fans were impressed by the performance of the team. However, they wanted to see the team compete against a top rival in the eastern conference. The Celtics, coming off a clutch win over the Bucks, were eager to defeat Brooklyn on Christmas to establish themselves as the east’s premier team. But the Nets Superstar Duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving lead the way to a huge win.
Kyrie and KD Combine for 66 Points
The Nets outscored the Celtics by 31 points in the second half for an overall victory of 123-95. On the offensive side, the scoring mostly came from the “Nets Superstar Duo,” a 37 point outburst from Kyrie Irving (the most points on Christmas Day 2020) accompanied by 29 points from Kevin Durant. And not only did the two stars score a lot of points, but they were also efficient. Kyrie went 13-21 (61.9%) from the field, including 7 of 10 from 3PT, and Durant went 9 for 16 (56.3%) from the field, including 3 of 4 from 3PT. Jarrett Allen also nearly had a double-double with 9 points and eleven rebounds.
Strong Defensive Effort
But as impressive as the offense was for the Nets on Christmas, the team was also solid on defense. The Celtics only scored 95 points, and they shot 37.8% from the field and 29.6% from 3PT. Jayson Tatum scored 20 points, but he was somewhat inefficient on 9 of 22 (40.9%) shooting from the field. The Celtics bench was only 9 for 28 from the field, compared to 12 for 25 for the Nets bench.
This intense effort on the defensive end so far for the Nets has left them as the only team this season not to allow 100 points, which is significant considering most teams have only played one game.
The only concern for the Nets would be rebounding, as they gave the Celtics 20 offensive rebounds. It may have been due to Brad Stevens starting both Tristan Thompson and Daniel Theis, but Durant and Joe Harris need to help Allen on the boards, as the two only combined for five rebounds in the contest.
Upcoming Doubleheader for the Nets
The Nets will have Saturday off to rest before a doubleheader. The first game will be away against the Hornets, and the second game will be home against the Grizzlies. It will be interesting to see if the training staff limits Kevin Durant’s minutes or if they give him the green light to play regular minutes in both games. As of now, Durant said he “definitely plan(s) on playing in the next game.” This means the “Nets Superstar Duo will be on full display again next game.
There is also still some speculation on the final destination of James Harden. For my take on James Harden’s fit on the Nets, check out this article.
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