Kenny Atkinson Brooklyn Nets
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The Brooklyn Nets fought until the last minute of regulation, but ultimately fell to the masked Kyrie Irving and the hot Boston Celtics.

  • Brooklyn Nets (5-9)
  • Boston Celtics (13-2)
  • Barclays Center: Brooklyn, New York
  • NBA, Final Box Score

Without point guard D’Angelo Russell, no one was expecting the Nets to pull out a win over the fire hot Boston Celtics. Point guard Kyrie Irving has led this team to 13 straight wins, including tonight, after dropping their first two on the year.

Yes, Brooklyn lost. Yet it was a nail biter nonetheless. Brooklyn was as close as six until the 55 second mark, when Jaylen Brown threw an alley-oop up to Jayson Tatum. The Celtics went up eight and never looked back.

Point guard Kyrie Irving tallied 25 points (7 in the fourth) and 5 assists, in his first game back since suffering a facial injury. He played through a fitted mask.

Forward Marcus Morris could not be stopped, hitting multiple elbow jumpers in the fourth. He scored 19 on the night.

For the Nets, guard Joe Harris led all scorers with a career-high 19 points off the bench.

Without Russell, backup Spencer Dinwiddie was inserted into the starting lineup. Late in the game, he continued to penetrate down the lane and kept the Nets close.

Dinwiddie finished with 12 points and a season-high 11 assists in the loss.

Guard Caris LeVert, who’s struggled offensively to start the year, poured in 15 points off the bench. Including this pretty finish off the glass late in the fourth.

After shooting 38 percent on the year previously, LeVert shot an efficient 6-7 from the field. Brooklyn will need to rely on his shot even more going forward with Russell out for the time being.

Speaking off offensive struggles, guard Allen Crabbe finally found some rhythm. He connected on a season-high five three-pointers, including two in the fourth quarter.

Forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was great defensively, but was consistently switched onto Irving, who he could not contain. He ended the night with 16 points, and 9 rebounds.

Trevor Booker, who earned the start at center for matchup purposes, scored 12 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.

There were plenty of runs on both sides all throughout the game. The Nets did well down the lane and in the post as expected, but couldn’t get defensive stops late in the game. Boston made them pay for it, which resulted in some panic shots and sloppy turnovers.

Brooklyn falls to 5-9, and now 1-1 without D’Angelo Russell. They will host the Utah Jazz on Friday, tip-off is at 7:30 PM EST.

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