EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Tony Allen scored 32 points, 22 in the first half, to lead the NBA champion Boston Celtics to an 111-108 victory over the New Jersey Nets in an exhibition game Thursday night.
The Celtics (4-1) played without Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, all kept out of action by Doc Rivers as a coach's decision and not because of injury. Former Nets guard Sam Cassell also sat out.
It was the first preseason home game for the Nets (2-1) following victories over the Miami Heat in Paris and London.
The two teams traded the lead throughout the third quarter, but the Celtics, led by Gabe Pruitt, scored the final seven points of the quarter to take an 87-81 lead.
The Celtics then held the lead the rest of the way, with the teams playing reserve squads throughout the fourth quarter.
The Nets had a chance to tie in the closing seconds, but Leon Powe stole the ball from rookie Chris Douglas-Roberts under the basket with four seconds left.
Former Net Eddie House added 21 points for the Celtics.
Vince Carter scored 19 points to pace the Nets. Yi Jianlian had 15 points before fouling out in the third quarter, and Keyon Dooling, who had been battling a leg injury, scored 14 points in his first action with the Nets.