NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, March 7th (All times Eastern)
Brooklyn Nets (30-29) at Boston Celtics (20-41), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Besides Bon Jovi, who says you can't go home?
Veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will do it for a second time when they lead the Brooklyn Nets into Boston for Friday's matchup with the Celtics at TD Bank Garden.
Pierce and Garnett once called Boston home and even won an NBA title there back in 2008. They were traded to Brooklyn last offseason and returned to the Garden in Brooklyn's 85-79 victory on Jan, 26. Pierce and Garnett had just six points apiece for the Nets, who have won three straight and five of the last six games against the Celtics.
"I was telling Kevin (Garnett) and everybody this was the toughest game I ever had to play," Pierce said of returning to Boston. "Tougher than any championship game, or any game seven. This game was just really hard to focus and concentrate on what was at hand."
Pierce spent 15 seasons as a Celtic and Garnett joined him for six of those.
The two will try to lead the Nets to a fourth straight win in Beantown. Garnett, though, has missed three straight games due to back spasms and is expected to sit Friday. Garnett is 10 points shy of passing Alex English (25,613) for 14th on the all-time scoring list.
Brooklyn has won four in a row overall and 10 of its last 14 games, including Wednesday's 103-94 triumph over the Memphis Grizzlies. Joe Johnson and Marcus Thornton scored 21 and 20 points, respectively, while Deron Williams (16), Pierce (14) and Andray Blatche rounded out the double-digit scorers.
The Nets, who went over the .500 mark for the first time, made 51.2 percent from the floor and 15-of-26 3-pointers. Even though they committed 21 turnovers for 26 Memphis points, the Nets managed to score 29 points off 21 miscues by the Grizzlies. Brooklyn had a 30-19 lead after the first quarter and outscored Memphis 33-16 in the third.
"Give Brooklyn credit, they came out and played with a much more forceful nature tonight," Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger said.
Brooklyn has posted a 20-8 mark since New Year's Day.
Jason Collins, signed to a second 10-day contract by the Nets prior to the game, saw 17 minutes of playing time but did not record a point.
Pierce needs one more 3-pointer to become the fifth player in NBA history to reach 1,900 career 3-pointers (Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, (Nets coach) Jason Kidd and Jason Terry).
The Nets have a 12-18 record away from home and are one game behind Washington for fifth in the East standings. They will host Sacramento and Toronto on the upcoming schedule.
Boston will continue a five-game homestand and fell to 1-2 on the stay with Wednesday's lopsided 108-88 setback to the Golden State Warriors. Rookie Kelly Olynyk scored a game-high 19 points off the bench and Rajon Rondo ended with 14, seven assists and five rebounds.
Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger scored 11 points apiece for the Celtics, losers in two straight and seven of eight games. The Celtics made only 39.5 percent and 7-of-26 3-pointers. They committed 22 turnovers for 24 Golden State points and the Warriors posted a 31-18 advantage in the second quarter.
"I thought they got out and ran," said Bass. "They went out and made some shots and we turned the ball over."
The Celtics have lost two in a row and four of five home games, and are 12-19 at the Garden this season. They will wrap up the homestand Sunday versus Detroit.
03/07 10:26:41 ET