Avery Bradley and Brandon Bass scored 16 points apiece and Vitor Faverani added 15 points and seven rebounds as the Boston Celtics closed out the preseason with a 101-97 victory over the short-handed Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.
Among the resting veterans missing from the Nets lineup were former Celtics Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, traded by Boston to Brooklyn in a blockbuster draft-night deal.
Gerald Wallace had 14 points and five assists and Jeff Green scored 12 points for Boston. (2-6)
Tyshawn Taylor scored 15 points and Reggie Evans finished with 11 points and eight rebounds for the Nets (4-2).
The Celtics finished their first preseason under new coach Brad Stevens, who turned 37 on Tuesday and will make his regular season debut Oct. 30 at Toronto.
Regardless of the outcome of Wednesday’s game, Boston sports fans weren’t going to be talking much about it on Thursday.
With the Red Sox opening the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals just a few miles up the Charles River at Fenway Park, turnout was light for the Celtics’ final preseason game. And any fans who came to welcome back Pierce and Garnett were disappointed as the former Celtics greats joined many other Nets veterans in a night of rest.
Pierce and Garnett should make their return to Boston when the Nets visit the Celtics on Jan. 26.
All-Star point guard Deron Williams dressed, but did not play because of a right ankle injury that has kept him out of every preseason game. The Nets close the exhibition season Friday at Miami.
Jared Sullinger was sick and didn’t play for Boston.
And the players who did compete were almost a side note as Red Sox highlights periodically showed up on the scoreboard monitor and drew louder cheers than the basketball game, which was close throughout.
Mirza Teletovic hit a 3-pointer to pull the Nets within 93-92 late in the fourth, but the Celtics scored the next six points and held on.
The Nets opened the game on a 7-0 run and led by as many as 10 points in the first quarter. Brooklyn took a 30-21 lead on a free throw by Evans early in the second quarter, then Lee made a 3-pointer to open a Boston run and the Celtics outplayed the Nets the rest of the half.
Boston closed the quarter on a 12-4 run and led 49-44.