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New Jersey at Boston

Nets stop division-leading Celtics for sixth victory of season

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics haven't found a way to fix their defensive woes.

Center Brook Lopez scored 25 points and guards Devin Harris and Courtney Lee added 23 and 21 points and the New Jersey Nets topped the Celtics 104-96 Saturday.

The Nets, who entered the game 5-52 and 2-27 on the road, took a 29-27 lead on Keyon Dooling's jumper at the end of the first quarter and never trailed again.

"Any win for us is big. There's no question," Nets coach Kiki Vandeweghe said. "But to get a win on the road, and this is one of the toughest places to play in the NBA, just shows that -- it should demonstrate to our guys that if they play with effort, they can compete against anybody."

Kevin Garnett had 26 points and Marquis Daniels had 16 for the Celtics, playing their third straight game without Paul Pierce. The Celtics hope to get Pierce back for Tuesday's game against Detroit.

New Jersey took 41 free throws to the Celtics' 11.

"It shows that we were aggressive," Lopez said. "A lot of the season we've been settling for jump shots at very inopportune times. Tonight we were very assertive in trying to get to the basket and get the best possible shot we could."

Celtics coach Doc Rivers blamed his team for the free throw disparity, saying "it was on us."

Rivers said one of the things he told his team Friday, a day after a 108-88 loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers, was "It ain't the system. It's our heads. It's between our ears. And we've got to come out and play."

Garnett said he was "disgusted" at the loss and said it came down to defense: "In this league you have to get stops, it's that simple. A team gets into a rhythm, and it's hard to turn it off."

New Jersey's effort shouldn't have come as a surprise to the Celtics. On Feb. 5 in Boston, the Nets hung with the Celtics until the last couple of minutes in a 96-87 loss.

The Celtics cut an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit to six on Ray Allen's 3-pointer with 2:05 left, but Kris Humphries' layup and two foul shots by Lopez ended the rally.

The Celtics didn't hit a 3-pointer until Nate Robinson's shot late in the third quarter and finished 3 of 19 from behind the arc while the Nets hit six 3-pointers in 13 attempts.

The Nets scored 25 points off 18 Celtics turnovers. Boston shot 63 percent in the first quarter and had a 12-2 lead, but the Nets, led by Harris' 11 points, charged back to take a 29-27 lead at the end of the quarter.

Lopez continued to hurt the Celtics inside in the second quarter and the Boston bench struggled. Lopez's tip-in with four minutes left in the first half gave the Nets a 46-36 lead.

New Jersey led 74-64 after three quarters and then started to pull away in the fourth. Chris Douglas-Roberts' dunk upped the lead to 12 with 7:44 left and Dooling's 3-pointer gave Jersey an 18-point advantage with five minutes left.

Notes

  • The flu has been bothering the Celtics, but Rivers dismissed it as a reason for the loss. "No, no, no. Everybody's sick right now. We just didn't play very well."
  • New Jersey must win at least four of its remaining 24 games to overtake the 1972-73 76ers' 9-73 record.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Courtney Lee scores 21 points as the Nets foil Ray Allen and the Celtics. (AP)
Courtney Lee scores 21 points as the Nets foil Ray Allen and the Celtics. (AP)

Scoreboard
New Jersey (6-52) «29202530104
Boston (36-21) 2715223296
NJ:B. Lopez 25 Pts
NJ:Y. Jianlian 10 Reb
NJ:D. Harris 5 Ast
BOS:K. Garnett 26 Pts
BOS:K. Garnett 9 Reb
BOS:R. Rondo 17 Ast
Players of the Game
BostonNew Jersey

R. Rondo

B. Lopez
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
136172573

CBSSports.com Shop

New Jersey
B. Lopez, C427-1111-1473225
D. Harris, PG376-1610-1015123
Y. Jianlian, PF302-120-010124
C. Lee, SG307-125-521121
T. Hassell, SF221-41-23203
C. Douglas-Roberts, SG272-50-00204
K. Humphries, PF242-47-10100311
K. Dooling, PG214-70-001211
T. Williams, SG71-10-02002
B. Simmons, SFDid Not Play
J. Boone, CDid Not Play
T. Battie, PFDid Not Play
J. Hayes, SFDid Not Play
C. Quinn, PGDid Not Play
Totals 32-7234-41351511104
 44.4%82.9% 
Boston
R. Rondo, PG355-93-4617313
R. Allen, SG333-113-365410
K. Garnett, PF2812-162-291126
M. Daniels, SG278-90-031416
K. Perkins, C191-30-02032
R. Wallace, PF294-130-06249
N. Robinson, PG236-130-023513
G. Davis, PF192-50-03134
B. Scalabrine, C170-20-02220
T. Allen, SG101-31-22003
P. Pierce, SFDid Not Play
M. Landry, PFDid Not Play
S. Williams, PFDid Not Play
Totals 42-849-1141322996
 50.0%81.8% 
Other Games
Mil 94 Final
Mia 71
Chi 90 Final
Ind 100
Mem 120 Final
NY 109
Port 110 Final
Min 91
Hou 110 Final
Utah 133
Det 88 Final
GS 95