Celtics rout Nets by 50 points to join exclusive NBA club

Payton Pritchard scored 28 points and the NBA-leading Boston Celtics routed the Brooklyn Nets 136-86 on Wednesday night to become just the third team in league history to post multiple 50-point wins in a season.

The triumph also was Joe Mazzulla’s 100th as head coach.

Derrick White concluded with 27 points, and Jayson Tatum added 20 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds for the Celtics, who defeated the Nets on back-to-back nights. It was the final game for both teams prior to the All-Star break.

“You can’t operate by feeling, so regardless if we lost tonight and won five out of six or six out of six, you have a tendency to relax, you have a tendency to put it in cruise control,” Mazzulla said. “So winning is just as dangerous as losing if you don’t handle it the right way.”

Boston will enter the break with an NBA-best 43-12 record. The Celtics went 57-25 in Mazzulla’s first year as coach last season.

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“I told the guys, it’s something to be proud of, something to be grateful for, and it’s just a testament to the people that you have around you,” Mazzulla said of reaching 100 wins. “In a business where individual success is highly talked about on a nightly basis, the box scores and stuff like that, to have a group of people you can share in your success with is important.”

The Celtics defeated the Indiana Pacers by 51 points on Nov. 1. Boston joined the 1992-93 Sacramento Kings and the 1978-79 Milwaukee Bucks as the only teams with multiple wins by at least 50 points in a season.

It was the fifth 50-point victory in team history.

Trendon Watford had 15 points for the Nets, who have lost five of their past six. They trailed by as many as 56 points in the fourth quarter.

The Celtics played without All-Star Jaylen Brown (bruised right shoulder) and Al Horford (sprained big toe), but they controlled the match throughout, quickly jumping to a double-digit lead and building a 37-point cushion in the second quarter.

It grew to 46 points in the third.

Boston’s starters sat the entire final period.

The Nets did see a player return from injury for the second consecutive night, this time getting back Cam Johnson following his four-game absence with a strained adductor muscle. He came off the bench, entering for the first time late in the first quarter. He played 18 minutes and finished with four points on 1-of-5 shooting.

Johnson’s presence wasn’t nearly enough to slow down a Boston team that shot more than 64% in the opening period and connected on 22 of 44 3-pointers for the game. Boston’s 68-32 halftime advantage was its largest since Jan. 13, 2010, when it had a 36-point edge over the New Jersey Nets. Brooklyn’s 34 points Wednesday marked a season low in the first half.

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