BOSTON – One of the biggest issues facing the Celtics during the first half of the season has been how to keep everyone happy and engaged when they have had mostly a fully stocked roster. 


With Kyrie Irving and Marcus Morris returning to the starting lineup Monday night against the Brooklyn Nets Monday night, they were able to find a way to do it through putting eight players in double-figure scoring on their way to a 116-95 romp.


Kyrie Irving led the [...]

BOSTON – One of the biggest issues facing the Celtics during the first half of the season has been how to keep everyone happy and engaged when they have had mostly a fully stocked roster. 

With Kyrie Irving and Marcus Morris returning to the starting lineup Monday night against the Brooklyn Nets Monday night, they were able to find a way to do it through putting eight players in double-figure scoring on their way to a 116-95 romp.

Kyrie Irving led the incredibly balanced offensive effort with 17 points, while Jayson Tatum scored 16 points, Gordon Hayward, Al Horford, Marcus Morris and Marcus Smart each had 12 points, Daniel Theis scored 11 and Terry Rozier contributed 10 points in Boston’s third straight victory. 

While the offense was spread out - and unselfish with 37 assists on 47 made baskets - the defense baffled the shorthanded Nets as the Celtics forced 23 turnovers on the way to their third straight victory with relative ease. 

An 8-0 Nets run spanning the end of the third quarter and first possession of the fourth had Brooklyn within nine when Tatum’s corner 3-pointer put Boston up 89-77 with 11:22 left in the game. A Rozier basket with 10:09 to play made it a 14-point game – which the Celtics matched three times over the next three minutes with Rozier’s breakaway slam off Jaylen Brown’s tip forward of a steal putting Boston up 98-84 with 7:18 to play. 

Horford’s basket out of a timeout made him the eighth Celtic player to hit double-digit scoring before Tatum’s free throws made it a 102-84 game with 6:16 on the court before Jaylen Brown made it an 8-0 run and a 20-point game on the next possession. 

A Semi Ojeleye slam off a face break from Brown pushed the gap to 22 before Horford scored to send the starters to the bench up 108-86 with 4:26 to play. 

The Nets came out looking every bit a team missing six players while playing on the second night of a back-to-back as they committed an NBA season-high 11 turnovers in the first quarter while the Celtics built a 34-22 lead after one. 

Boston pushed the gap as high as 20 on a Tatum basket that made it 47-27 with 7:33 left in the half before the Nets slowly crawled back into contention. The lead was down to 12 when Smart hit his fourth 3-pointer of the half for a 54-39 lead with 3:11 on the clock. 

But the Celtics went cold down the stretch of the second quarter and managed just a 56-45 lead into the break. 

The Nets then started the third quarter on a 9-3 run to pull within five into an early Brad Stevens timeout just 2:21 into the second half. But Irving drilled a 3-pointer out of the pause with a second Irving basket and Marcus Morris 3-pointer pushing the gap back to 11 with 8:08 left in the third. 

A second Morris 3-pointer in the quarter, and Irving basket from Horford, had Boston up 74-60 with 5:29 on the clock. It was an 11-point game with three minutes left in the half when Irving found Daniel Theis for an easy basket inside to spark an 8-2 run for an 86-69 lead with 1:12 left in the quarter before the Nets scored the final five points of the third to hit the fourth down 12.