Celtics beat the Nets 109-102 to push winning streak to 13 games

A. Sherrod Blakely
NBC Sports Boston

Good teams. Bad teams. Scrappy teams.

You name the style a team plays, and the Boston Celtics will show you how to beat them.

Tuesday's 109-102 win over the Brooklyn Nets was yet another chapter in the narrative about a Celtics team that has an uncanny, unshakable will to win regardless of the opponent.

Kyrie Irving, returning to the lineup after missing one game due to the facial fractured he suffered against Charlotte on Nov. 10, led all five Boston starters in double figures scoring, with 23 points and five assists.

The Nets (5-9) got 16 points apiece from Joe Harris and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.   

Boston (13-2) has now won 13 in a row, the longest winning streak of the Brad Stevens era and the longest in the NBA this season.

Not only did Tuesday's win keep the impressive streak alive, it has now set the table for what will be one of the more highly anticipated matchups you'll find in the first month of the season with defending champion Golden State at the TD Garden on Thursday.

Boston's winning streak has gotten a lot harder to keep going as of late. Boston came into Tuesday's with three of its previous four victories being by three points or less.

That didn't seem to be the case against the Nets who came in having lost five straight to Boston.

The Celtics opened the game with a 17-4 run before the Nets cut into the deficit to trail Boston 30-21 after the first quarter.

Boston's second unit struggled to make shots most of the night so when they entered the game, the Celtics' offense bogged down considerably which opened the door for the Nets to rally for a 52-all tie at the half.

The third quarter was much better for the Celtics, as they went on a 19-2 run to take control before settling in for an 80-71 lead going into the fourth.

Marcus Morris picked up a lot of the offensive slack early in the fourth to propel Boston to a 92-81 lead. He finished with a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds.

But the Nets, as scrappy a team as you'll find in the NBA, battled back and were within four points (95-91) with about four minutes to play.

However, Irving made it a two-possession game, 97-91, with a basket and on the ensuing possession, drove in for a lay-up that put Boston ahead 99-92.

From there, Boston did just enough to keep the Nets at bay as the attention quickly focused on arguably the most highly anticipated game of the season as Boston hosts Golden State on Thursday night.

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