NEW YORK – At the half-time match Saturday night here at the Barclays Center between the Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets, the home team's season was on the line  The Nets clung out of the knockout stages one point ahead of one-half and needed a win to avoid the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot with five games before the end of the Eastern Conference encounter is game that they just could not let go.
"We did not play the best," said D & # 39; Angelo Russell. "We gave them a lot of what they got, and we knew we needed to buckle and tighten."
"We knew what we needed to do. "
It was a feeling that Russell obviously took to heart, scoring 20 of his 29 points in the third quarter to lead the Nets on Saturday night to a much-needed 1
"We know that all these games are playoff games," said Nets coach Kenny Atkinson "So we have to look at it." We're in. We can not shy away from that.
"It's all playoff games, but it was important to secure this game."
Atkinson said before knowing the results of the other games in the East – including the sixth Detroit Pistons, the Portland Trail Blazers defeated eighth place in Miami Heat against the New York Knicks and ninth place Orlando Magic against the Indiana Pacers.
As a result, Saturday's placement looked the same as it did at the end: Boston and Indiana tied for fourth place, followed by Detroit, Brooklyn, Miami and Orlando – with 1.5 games separating teams from sixth to ninth ,
The tightly-knit table only highlights the importance of winning for every team battling for the playoffs. However, it was especially important for the nets to win a victory as they struggled through a brutally tough final stretch to reach the playoffs.
|6-10||WL||GB 8.||Remaining Schedule|
|# 6 Piston||39-37||+1.0||@IND, IND, @OKC, vs CHA, vsMEM, @NY|
|# 7 Networks||39-38||+0.5  vs MIL, vs TOR, @MIL, @IND, vs MIA|
|# 8 Heat||38-38||–||@BOS vs BOS, @MIN, @TOR, vs PHI BRBR|
|# 9 Magic||38-39||-0.5||@TOR vs NY, vs ATL, @BOS, @CHA|
|# 10 Hornets  35-40||-2.5||@GS, @UTA, @NO, vsTOR, @DET, @CLE , vs ORL|
|Until March 30|
Before the game on Saturday night, Atkinson tried The Expectations of his team, which are won before the Nets compete against their newest opponent, who is played against the playoffs,
, "I think that's the word: Excited," said Atkinson. "There is no fear, there are no concerns, look at the schedule, I think, honestly, and I said this before the road trip, we probably will not be in any of the games, but it's almost as if we had to we draw some of these from NCAA upsets.
"We have to beat some teams that we should not beat. That's easy and simple. "
On the one hand, Atkinson is right – the nets are in the midst of a brutal final schedule, in which they play 12 of their last 14 games (including the last eight in a row) against teams currently in the playoffs, and all to On the other hand, the Nets played at home against a Celtics team that had played the night before and rested their two top players, Kyrie Irving and Al Horford.
In short, this was a game the nets just had to win.
D & # 39; Angelo Russell scores 20 points in the third quarter to win the To give Nets a big edge over the Celtics.
And thanks to Russell they did. His other three quarters were nothing to write about, as he was a combined 4-for-12 shooting, including 0-for- 5 a In the 3-point range and had four turnovers, but he has more than made up for it with his breakout in the triangle rd, where he scored 20 points in 8:12 shooting, including 4: 7 from 3-point areas, in just 7 minutes and 44 seconds of playing time.
"There are two halves in each game." Russell said. "The first half was a bit suspicious – costly sales, questionable shot selection – so I knew I needed to streamline."
All eight of these teams have potentially deadly deficiencies. Can you correct them in time?
Kyrie Irving's 0.5-second layup won for the Celtics, but it was the Pacers' inability to down the track, which deprived them of the opportunity to disable the home-field advantage when these two teams are likely to be in the postseason Meet,
Once he made it, the rest of the nets followed, pushing the lead against a tired and understaffed Celtics team in the double digits. And unlike the many tight matches the Nets have been in this season, Brooklyn has been able to maintain a considerable lead in the fourth quarter to emerge victorious with a relatively comfortable – and enormously important – win.  Boston, on the other hand, paused when Indiana – who had lost in London the night before in Irving's playful interim goal 0.5 seconds back – lost to Orlando at home, which meant the Celtics were in fourth place in the group stayed east. The Pacers and Celtics will compete again on Friday night in Indianapolis. In a game that probably decides who will play in the inevitable first round between the two teams over the next two weeks.
The Celtics were at the start of the season Actually, it should be fought in the East Playoffs for a home advantage two weeks before the regular season – not to fight, just to have it in the first round of the playoffs. Moving Forward However, Marcus Morris said that Boston will be ready when the postseason runs – and that anything that happened before does not matter at this point.
"We have criticism throughout the year," said Morris. "It can not be worse than what it is now, so let's go ahead, man."
"Everyone will doubt us for the year we had, but when the playoffs arrive, it is basically a new season, so we still have a chance to reverse this thing. In ten years, they will probably be 30 in this team. "