NBA Game Summary - New Jersey at Boston
(Wednesday, January 14th)
Final Score: Boston 118, New Jersey 86
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce led six Boston players in double figures with 22 points, and the Celtics hammered the New Jersey Nets, 118-86, at TD Banknorth Garden.
Kevin Garnett added 20 points and nine rebounds for the Celtics, who have won three in a row following a four-game skid. Rajon Rondo totaled 11 points, seven rebounds and 12 assists as Boston moved to 20-2 at home this season.
Devin Harris scored 17, but had six of New Jersey's 20 turnovers. Ryan Anderson, Brook Lopez and Keyon Dooling each scored 13 for the Nets, who host Portland on Thursday before playing the Celtics again on Saturday afternoon, this time at the Meadowlands.
Vince Carter, who played 26 minutes despite suffering a right ankle injury in the first quarter, was limited to four points on 1-of-10 shooting as the Nets lost to Boston for a sixth straight time.
"They kicked us real good," said Nets coach Lawrence Frank. "It was a 10-point game at half, and in the third quarter they just knocked us down. We gave up a high volume of lay-ups, our assist-to-turnover ratio was very disappointing."
Boston was ahead by 10 at the half, but the Celtics put the game away in the third quarter when Pierce had 18 of the team's 37 points. He made all five of his three-point attempts in the period and a free throw from the veteran moved the Celtics ahead 64-44 with 8 1/2 minutes remaining in the stanza.
A three-ball from Pierce, who was dubbed "Superman" by Garnett after Monday's overtime victory over Toronto, widened the margin to 84-58 with just over a minute remaining in the third. It was 88-60 heading to the fourth.
"I don't get discouraged by misses," said Pierce. "It wasn't a fact for me that I was trying to go out there and get it going. I just took advantage of the ball movement. When we swung the ball, I was wide open and I stayed aggressive."
Eddie House accounted for seven consecutive Boston points during the final quarter, as the Celtics cruised down the stretch to another victory, turning it around after losing seven of nine games.
"It's not back, but it wasn't back when we were winning," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "We want to get to a level where we think, when the playoffs start, we can win. So that's what we work on every night, and you can definitely see signs of us trending in the right direction."
Brian Scalabrine's jumper made it 8-2 in favor of Boston, and despite the Nets rallying later in the period, the Celtics were in front 30-23 going to the second quarter.
Boston held a sizeable lead throughout the second, on the way to a 51-41 cushion at intermission.
Ray Allen and Glen Davis each scored 12 and House ended with 10 for the Celtics, who shot 56.4 percent from the field...New Jersey finished at 38.8 percent...Boston held a 45-32 rebounding advantage...House rolled his left ankle with 40 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. He said he'll get treatment on Thursday and expects to play on Saturday in New Jersey...Carter is day-to-day...Boston scored 27 points off 20 New Jersey turnovers while the Nets had just 14 points off 17 Boston turnovers.
01/14 23:16:19 ET