Celtics can at last turn attention to their anticipated date with Cavs

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BOSTON – On a night when the Celtics played well in spurts, they managed to put just enough together to come out with a 108-105 win and get past the always-pesky Brooklyn Nets.

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Most nights, dissecting what went wrong and what didn’t for Boston, would dominate the postgame discussions.

But this was a potential trap game for the Celtics (30-10), with everyone – players, fans, coaches and the media – well aware that Cleveland was looming around the corner (Wednesday night, actually).

And with that being said, it was an across-the-board, Bill Belichickian moment with everyone associated with the Celtics seemingly on to the next game, against the Cavaliers.

“Really, really tough task, obviously,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens of playing Cleveland. “They’ve had everybody’s number in the East for a couple of years now, and we’re amongst that list. So, we’ll see.”

Boston has lost four of its past five regular-season games to Cleveland, including a 102-99 decision in the season-opener, and six of the past eight.

The playoffs have been even more lopsided with the Celtics having had their season end at the hands of the Cavaliers in two of the past three seasons.

And to think, the Celtics will kick off the New Year playing against the team they opened the season against, a team that remains the standard by which all teams in the East, themselves included, are measured against.

“That’s what everybody is excited about, the basketball world,” Terry Rozier said of the Cavs matchup. “I know we’re excited. It’s gonna be a fun game.”

Marcus Morris added, “They’re playing well, we’re playing well. It’s going to be a dogfight. But win or lose, we still have a lot of games. We owe them one; they beat us there. It’s going to be a good game. I’m excited, a lot of energy. It’s definitely going to be a good game in 2018.”

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