ADVERTISEMENT

December 25, 2012

The Associated Press

Gerald Wallace of the Brooklyn Nets charges into Jason Terry of the Boston Celtics during the first half of their Christmas game Tuesday. Boston beat the Nets for the first time in three meetings this season, 93-76.

Celtics: A victory grows in Brooklyn

The Associated Press

NEW YORK - Rajon Rondo lost his cool, and any chance at history, in the second quarter when Boston last met Brooklyn.

This time the second period featured some of the best basketball the Celtics have played this season.

Rondo scored 19 points in his first full game against the Nets this season, and the Celtics won 93-76 on Tuesday in another game with some heated moments between the division rivals.

Rondo, sidelined in the first meeting and thrown out of the second after shoving Nets forward Kris Humphries into the courtside seats, outplayed counterpart Deron Williams and helped the Celtics take control early.

"We moved the ball; we rebounded the ball," Rondo said. "They beat us pretty bad on the glass (last time), so we did an exceptional job on the glass, taking care of the defensive rebounds, and we got stops."

A month after the teams scuffled in Boston, there was another skirmish in the fourth quarter that resulted in four technical fouls. But that was the most fight the Nets put up in a disappointing performance on the national stage of the Christmas opener. They were never in the game after the first 20 minutes, and their fans headed to the exits with under two minutes left as a "Let's go Celtics!" chant broke out.

"It was a big game for us. It was a division rival. We were ready for a big game. It just didn't happen," Williams said.

Rookie Jared Sullinger tied a career high with 16 points and Jeff Green had 15 for the Celtics (14-13), who avoided falling under .500 with just their second victory in six games.

The Celtics took control with a 23-5 run in the second quarter of the opener of their four-game trip. They had 11 assists on 13 baskets and outscored the Nets 34-18 in the period after dropping the previous two meetings.

"It was good to get off to this start. It was good to finally play from start to finish, especially with the way we've been playing against Brooklyn," said Paul Pierce, who had just eight points on 3-of-10 shooting. "So it was a well-balanced game, but I'm happy with the start of the trip."

Gerald Wallace and Brook Lopez each scored 15 for the Nets, who have lost 4 of 5. Struggling to find anything that worked, they played Lopez and fellow center Andray Blatche together with three guards at one point, but shot 41 percent and had 20 turnovers that led to 25 points.

Williams had only 10 points on 3-of-7 shooting and Joe Johnson, his partner in a high-priced backcourt, shot 4 of 14 for his 12 points.

"This one hurts. We didn't play our game. They beat us from the opening tip," Wallace said. "We didn't make shots. We turned the ball over too easy. Our defense just wasn't there. We weren't ourselves."

Kevin Garnett of Boston had eight points and 10 rebounds on the day he tied Charles Oakley for 15th on the NBA's career list with his 1,282nd game. He was also front and center when things got testy.

Wallace, fouled with 9:31 left, appeared to hold onto Garnett's uniform to balance himself and not fall. Garnett was fine with that but objected to how long Wallace hung onto his shorts, and they said something to each other as they tried to push themselves free. That led to technical fouls on the two, along with Blatche and Courtney Lee.

Garnett said he asked Wallace what he was doing but got no response.

"I don't know where in America you can (yank) somebody's pants off, or shorts off. I don't know what the hell was going on," Garnett said.

Sullinger delivered a flagrant foul on Wallace a few minutes later but there was nothing further.

In the Nets' Nov. 28 victory in Boston, Rondo, Humphries and Wallace were ejected.

It was the second quarter of that game where things got away from the Celtics, and Rondo's frustrations soon followed when he shoved Humphries after the Nets forward fouled Garnett. That ruined Rondo's chance to extend what was then a 37-game streak with double-digit assists, tied for second-longest ever, by finishing with three.



MarShon Brooks, Rajon Rondo
The Associated Press

Rajon Rondo, who was ejected in the most recent game against Brooklyn, finished with 19 points this time for the Celtics.

Kevin Garnett, Gerald Wallace
The Associated Press

The Associated Press Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics, left, is separated from Brooklyn forward Gerald Wallace, third from right, after complaining about the length of time Wallace held onto his shorts while stopping a fall during Tuesday’s game.



Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)


  • Back to Sports

News
Politics
Business
Opinion
Life & Culture
People

© 2014 The Portland Press Herald - All Rights Reserved.
MaineToday Media
One City Center, 5th floor, Portland, ME 04101-5009
(207) 791-6650
contact@pressherald.com