Celtics win preseason finale against Nets


BOSTON — Boston coach Brad Stevens wasn’t about to completely praise rookie Marcus Smart’s performance.

Stevens didn’t miss something he did wrong directly in front of him.

Smart, the team’s first-round selection and No. 6 overall, scored 16 points and Jared Sullinger had 15 with 17 rebounds to lead the Celtics to a 100-86 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night in the final preseason game for both teams.

“I would argue maybe one shot, right in front of our bench, right in front of me,” Stevens said when asked if the 6-foot-4 guard had a solid game with shot selection and overall play.

Smart went 5-for-8 from the floor, nailing a pair from three-point range. He added four assists and a steal in 15 1/2 minutes of action.

“Coach has been telling me to be more aggressive, attack the rim and then take the 3-ball once you get warm,” Smart said.

Gerald Wallace had 12 points for Boston, which finished the preseason 5-3 with its second straight win over Brooklyn.

Mason Plumlee led the Nets with 15 points and 11 boards. Mirza Teletovic also scored 15 points.

Brooklyn, which didn’t play any of its expected regulars, went 4-2 in the preseason.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Nets coach Lionel Hollins said. “We’ve got a lot of catching up with consistency with one group on the court and what we do.”

The Celtics led 58-44 at halftime.

Boston trailed by five early in the second quarter before going on a 26-4 run over a 6 1/2 minute stretch to grab a 55-38 lead on James Young’s floating jumper. Wallace had eight points in the spree and Smart seven.

The Celtics pushed their lead to 71-48 on Marcus Thornton’s free throw 3 minutes into the third before the Nets scored 10 unanswered points. Playing with reserves for most of the game that was the only real run Brooklyn made in the second half.

Boston led 86-68 after three quarters and never had its advantage fall below 10 points in the fourth.

The building was less than half full, with the upper bowl nearly empty.