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Celtics show their true "mettle" in fourth quarter of 114-107 win over Nets

 It's a word you don't hear often - "mettle". But that's what The Green displayed in their rough-and-tumble takedown of the Brooklyn Nets in the final quarter of Game Two (per


"ability to cope well with difficulties or to face a demanding situation in a spirited and resilient way".

"the team showed their true mettle in the second half"

I would not have written this early in the 2021-22 season. But it fits now. The 114-107 victory for Boston looked like it may not happen in the first three quarters. They were down by as many as 17 points at one juncture and Brooklyn's Bruce Brown and Goran Dragic were shooting lights out.

But Boston clamped down in the 4th period. Kevin Durant couldn't move without two or three Celtics surrounding him. He finished with a team-high 27 points but turned the ball over six times. , Durant made only 4-of-17 from the field. Kyrie Irving scored only 10 points and was 4-of-13 on field goals.

The final nail was applied with 22 seconds remaining in the game when Payton Pritchard waltzed by Irving for an easy layup. Pritchard had 10 points, four boards and a team-high plus/minus of +15 in only 16 minutes of play. Grant Williams supplied a real spark off the bench with 17 points on perfect (100%) shooting from the field, beyond the arc and the free throw line.

But the major story of the game might have been Marcus Smart arriving decked out in his DPOY robe.

Smart's robe may just as well have displayed - "The Mettle starts here!" Marcus has always set the tone for spirit, toughness and resilience. And finally, his teammates have added those qualities to their game, and it showed last night.


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