Monday, January 27, 2014
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Nets 85, Celtics 79

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[January 27, 2014]  BOSTON — Nets 85, Celtics 79: Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce combined for 12 points and several standing ovations as visiting Brooklyn topped Boston in an emotional return for the two former Celtics greats.

Andray Blatche led the Nets with 17 points off the bench and Alan Anderson scored 11. Pierce and Garnett each received video tributes in their first game back in Boston after being traded over the summer but neither found a rhythm offensively and combined to go 5-of-16 from the field in Brooklyn’s fifth straight win.

Brandon Bass scored 17 points on 6-of-6 shooting and Rajon Rondo — the only player left with the franchise from the Pierce and Garnett-led team that won the 2008 NBA Championship — collected 13 points, eight assists and eight rebounds. Gerald Wallace and Chris Johnson scored 12 points apiece.

A sloppy first half for both teams was overshadowed by the tributes to Pierce and Garnett but the Nets managed to take a 35-34 lead into the break. Anderson knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and Pierce converted his first field goal during a 10-0 run that put Brooklyn in control early in the third.

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The Nets took a 59-53 lead into the fourth quarter and opened the final frame with a 9-3 burst to stretch it to double figures. Jason Terry, who spent last season in Boston and left in the Garnett-Pierce trade over the summer, hit a 3-pointer to clip a Celtics’ run midway through the period but Boston kept coming and cut it to 80-77 on Rondo’s 3-pointer with 1:03 left before Garnett‘s steal and transition dunk with 17.3 seconds on the clock helped put it away.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Boston’s 34 points in the first half marked its lowest-scoring half of the season. … Rondo played 30 minutes — his most in the five games he has played since returning from knee surgery. … The Nets have won 10 of 11 games in January but had a string of four straight scoring at least 101 points come to an end.

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