Nets beat up slumping Celtics despite Bradley’s 26 points

Posted March 21, 2014, at 10:41 p.m.
Brooklyn Nets power forward Mason Plumlee (1) is fouled as he drives to the basket by Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk (41) in front of Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo (9) during the third quarter of a game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn Friday night. The Nets defeated the Celtics 114-98.
Brad Penner | USA Today Sports
Brooklyn Nets power forward Mason Plumlee (1) is fouled as he drives to the basket by Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk (41) in front of Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo (9) during the third quarter of a game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn Friday night. The Nets defeated the Celtics 114-98.

NEW YORK — The Brooklyn Nets continued their dominant play at home with a 114-98 victory over the Boston Celtics on Friday night.

It is the 11th consecutive home win for the Nets in a streak that dates to Feb. 3. Brooklyn has the fifth-best record (26-10) in the NBA since New Year’s Day.

The Celtics have now lost six of their last seven despite a 26-point effort from guard Avery Bradley to lead all scorers.

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 and adding four assists.

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 ppg. On Friday night, he scored 14.

Guard Deron Williams quarterbacked a Nets offense that shot just under 60 percent from the field against the Celtics and had six points, six assists and one steal.

Williams extended his NBA-best active steals streak to 17 consecutive games. It is the fourth best in the league this season.

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 were receiving contributions throughout the team as 12 different players scored in the win.

Both offenses were clicking early, using two different options to score. 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.

Nets rookie forward Mason Plumlee scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half while adding five rebounds.

After twisting an ankle just minutes into the game, Bradley went off, scoring 23 points in the first half, including an 18-point spurt in six minutes during the second quarter. Yet Boston’s defense bent, allowing the Nets to finish the half on a 15-6 run and take a 10-point lead going into halftime.

Celtics guard Rajon Rondo had a double-double with 12 points and 12 assists.

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 nine of their last 11 games and continue their strong home form with wins in their last 10 at the Barclays Center. Only the Houston Rockets currently have as many consecutive wins at home. … 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 bring a struggling offense into Brooklyn. Averaging 95.5 points per game, 27th in the NBA, Boston is playing a resurgent Nets defense that has given up 100 or more points just once in their past nine. … 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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