Spencer Dinwiddie, with Irving again unable to face former team, leads Nets past Celtics 112-107
Spencer Dinwiddie had 32 points and 11 assists while Kyrie Irving was again unable to face his former team, and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Boston Celtics 112-107 on Friday to split a home-and-home series.
Irving missed his eighth straight game with a right shoulder injury but was at the arena to get an evaluation and watch from the bench along with Kevin Durant as Dinwiddie kept up his strong play in his place.
The Eastern Conference player of the week last week matched his highest assist total of the season and was two shy of his best scoring performance of the season.
Jarrett Allen added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Nets, who bounced back from their 121-110 loss in Boston on Wednesday to win for the fifth time in six games.
Jayson Tatum had 26 points and nine rebounds for the Celtics, who had won two in a row. Kemba Walker finished with 17 points and six assists.
Boston coach Brad Stevens talked about the importance of a strong start with the early tip, but the Celtics couldn’t deliver it. They were called for a double dribble and a 3-second violation during a six-turnover first quarter, when the Nets opened a 14-point lead. Boston was much sharper in the second, with Tatum making four 3-pointers, including one that cut it to 58-55 at halftime.
The Nets extended it back to 14 in the third when Dinwiddie hit his second straight 3-pointer, but Boston got it back down to 87-81 by the end of the period. Again, Brooklyn pushed it back to double digits in the fourth and held on after Boston cut it to four in the final minute.
Celtics: Tatum was 4 for 8 from 3-point range after going 0 for 11 in his previous three games. … Marcus Smart scored 15 points.
Nets: DeAndre Jordan had eight points and 11 rebounds after missing two games with left ankle soreness. … Taurean Prince scored 16 points.
MORE ON KYRIE
Two days after Celtics fans taunted Irving even in his absence, and he responded with a long Instagram post saying sports and entertainment were “ignorant and obtrusive.”, a group of Nets fans chanted “Kyrie’s better! Kyrie’s better!” when Walker shot free throws. None of the anger in Boston toward Irving is coming from Stevens.
“I like Kyrie, I appreciated Kyrie, wished him well and I think that him coming home has been something that he wanted to do and he was a free agent,” Stevens said. “You get to make that choice and we can’t do anything but respect that and be happy for him.”
The Nets debuted their uniforms in tribute to the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of the borough that was home to The Notorious B.I.G. The white uniforms say Bed-Stuy across the front, with a camouflage pattern along the sides of the jerseys and shorts. The Nets plan to wear them 28 times this season.
Celtics: Visit New York Knicks on Sunday.
Nets: Host Miami on Sunday.
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