Boston Celtics defeat New Jersey Nets, 86-76

It never got out of hand.

Brook Lopez drilled a 19-footer, Rafer Alston drained a 3-pointer from 25 feet, and in less than a minute, the Nets gave the Celtics a nice little pop on the chin.

But New Jersey’s early lead was never larger than a couple of baskets, and the Celtics were never out of striking distance, which was what Doc Rivers was hoping for.

His team had played eight games in 12 days, more than any other team in the league. Whether the Celtics wanted to ...

At the end of every season, Doc Rivers gathers up his coaching staff to talk about the draft. The previous year’s draft. It’s sort of like a fantasy draft, only everyone has on their hindsight goggles.

“It’s amazing how much different those numbers are,’’ said the Celtics coach. “We’re much smarter by the end of the year on the draft.’’

Two years ago, the Celtics had a chance to draft Chris Douglas-Roberts, who had made a name for himself with Derrick Rose on a Memph...