The Nets continued their dominant play at home with a 114-98
victory over the Boston Celtics on Friday night.
It was the 11th consecutive home win for the Nets in a streak that
dates to Feb. 3. Overall, Brooklyn has
the best record (26-10) in the Eastern Conference since New Year's
"We trust each other from top to bottom," Nets head coach Jason Kidd
said. "Things didn't start off the way we wanted, but it's a
marathon. It's not about who starts the race in first, but it's who
The Celtics have now lost six of their last seven despite a 26-point
effort from guard Avery Bradley to lead all scorers.
"We didn't provide much resistance all night," Celtics head coach
Brad Stevens said. "We weren't very good on the defensive end of the
Nets guard Joe Johnson, who has now shot 50 percent or better from
the field in five of his last nine games, had another efficient
outing, scoring 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field while
adding four assists.
"I'm just trying to do whatever I can," Johnson said. "It's a great
feeling to be playing this well this late in the season. This is
what you would want."
It was another night of reunions for Nets guard Paul Pierce, who
faced the Celtics for the fourth time this season. Pierce spent 15
years in Boston from 1998 to 2012. In the first three games against
his former club, Pierce averaged 6.7 points. On Friday night, he
"We're clicking on all cylinders right now," Pierce said. "We're
reaching our peak at the right time of the season...Everyone is
growing with confidence."
Guard Deron Williams had six points, six assists and one steal, and
he quarterbacked a Nets offense that shot just under 60 percent from
the field against the Celtics.
Williams extended his NBA-best active steals streak to 17
consecutive games with at least one steal. It is the fourth longest
in the league this season.
"Guys are really getting into it defensively," Johnson said. "We're
helping each other out and that's beautiful to watch and great to be
a part of."
Behind Johnson's 16 points in the third quarter, the Nets continued
their 2014 trend of building insurmountable double-digit leads in
the late stages of the game. The Nets received contributions
throughout the team as 12 different players scored in the win.
"Everybody's touching the ball," Kidd said. "That's one of the nice
things to watch when that happens...Guys are sharing the ball and
trusting one another."
Both offenses were clicking early. The Nets were shooting close to
70 percent by exploiting the paint to start the game while the Celtics used second-chance
opportunities and domination of the offensive glass.
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Nets rookie forward Mason Plumlee scored 14 of his 18 points in the
first half while adding five rebounds.
"He's grown each time he has touched the floor," Kidd said. "The
more minutes he gets, the better he gets. So being a rookie, he's
going to make some mistakes, but the way he can finish around the
rim with guys that can pass him the ball is fun to watch. He's a big
part of our success."
After twisting an ankle just minutes into the game, Bradley had an
offensive burst, scoring 23 points in the first half, including an
18-point spurt in six minutes during the second quarter.
Yet Boston's defense allowed the Nets to finish the half on a 15-6
run, helping Brooklyn take a 10-point lead going into halftime.
"When Avery Bradley started going off, we just accepted trading
baskets instead of really getting stops," Stevens said. "Brooklyn's
done a good job of adjusting."
Celtics guard Rajon Rondo had a double-double with 12 points and 12
NOTES: The Celtics snapped a five-game losing streak on Wednesday
night with a 101-96 win over the Miami Heat. ... The Nets have won
10 of their last 12 games. ... Nets F Kevin Garnett continues to
miss time with back spasms. Nets head coach Jason Kidd said that
Garnett will be re-evaluated on Saturday, but there is no timetable for his return. ... The Celtics brought a struggling
offense into Brooklyn, averaging 95.5 points per game, 27th in the
NBA. ... Nets GM Billy King said C Brook Lopez had a procedure on March 3 to clean out his left
ankle after he tore a tendon earlier this year. He is expected to
return to basketball activities in June.
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