NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, November 7th (All times eastern)
Boston Celtics (6-1) at New Jersey Nets (0-6), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A terrific Boston team aims to bounce back from its first loss of the season when they face a banged-up, winless New Jersey club at the IZOD Center.
The Suns' Jason Richardson hit 6-of-7 from three-point range en route to a 34- point, 10-rebound night, helping Phoenix hand the Celtics their first loss of the season, a 110-103 decision at TD Garden on Friday.
Kevin Garnett led the way for Boston, finishing with 26 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the team's first setback in seven games this year. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce each added 16 points, with Pierce shooting just 5-of-15 from the field.
Rajon Rondo doled out 11 assists to go with 14 points, and Kendrick Perkins donated 12 points and seven caroms in defeat.
The difference of the game was three-point shooting, as Phoenix shot 13-of-24 from downtown compared to Boston's 4-for-18 effort.
"I thought all night, to the three point shooters, instead of running them off the line we stopped short and allowed them to shoot the three," Pierce said. "That's their system, that's the situations they put you in and it worked to their advantage tonight. Just a step slow with the defense."
An undermanned Nets team hung around against the Philadelphia 76ers Friday night before wilting down the stretch. Lou Williams totaled 18 points, nine rebounds and six assists in that one, helping the Sixers to a 97-94 win and sending New Jersey to its worst start in franchise history.
Andre Iguodala scored 16 points, including a key three-pointer late in the fourth, while also tying up New Jersey's Terrence Williams on an attempt at a game-tying three-ball at the buzzer.
Brook Lopez posted 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Nets, who began the season with six straight losses for the first time.
Veteran forward Trenton Hassell, thrust into a starting role with the Nets racked by injury, had 17 points and 12 rebounds while Rafer Alston scored 14 and handed out six assists.
New Jersey has been without star guard Devin Harris the last four games because of a strained groin. In addition, the club was without forward Yi Jianlian, out with a right MCL injury, and the flu-stricken Chris Douglas- Roberts, guard Keyon Dooling (hip surgery), forward Tony Battie (right knee), and forward Jarvis Hayes (strained left hamstring). Meanwhile, the team lost guard Courtney Lee early in the third quarter Friday with an apparent leg injury.
"We played our tails off. It's disappointing. We were in a stretch there in the fourth quarter, defensively, where we were trading threes for twos," said Nets head coach Lawrence Frank. "We had some plays that we could have made down the stretch, but we came up a little short."
Boston has won nine straight and 10 of its last 11 matchups with the Nets.
11/07 10:30:30 ET