12:45 AM ET
Clinging to a one-point halftime lead, and needing a win to avoid falling into a tie for the Eastern Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot with five games to go, the Nets left their locker room well aware that this was a game they simply couldn’t let get away.
“We weren’t playing the best,” D’Angelo Russell said. “We were giving them a lot of what they were getting. We knew we had to buckle down and tighten up.
“We knew what we needed to do.”
It was a sentiment Russell clearly took to heart, as he scored 20 of his 29 points in the third quarter to lead the Nets to a desperately needed 110-94 victory over the Celtics Saturday night — one that allowed Brooklyn to keep pace on a night when all four teams fighting for the final three playoff spots in the East came away with wins.
“We know all these games coming up are playoff games,” Nets coach Kenny