Shaq leads Celtics past NetsNov 25, 2010 - 4:54 AM Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Shaquille O'Neal poured in 25 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, as a shorthanded Boston team rallied for an 89-83 victory over the New Jersey Nets.
O'Neal, who shot 9-of-10 from the field, recorded his highest point total since March 18, 2009 against Philadelphia.
"Boy he got it going especially in that second half," Nets coach Avery Johnson said. "We were beating them at the first half and then they turned it around in the second half. He has always been a tough cover. More than anything he got them in the bonus quicker in the second half which put pressure on our defense. In the first half we weren't in the bonus. We were playing good defense without fouling."
Paul Pierce tallied 18 points and Ray Allen contributed 15 points and seven assists for Boston, which played without guard Rajon Rondo (strained left hamstring). The Celtics, winners of two straight and five of seven, also lost guard Delonte West to a broken right wrist late in the second quarter.
"It's broken for sure," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "Don't know anything else more than that; a compound fracture most likely. But that's going to be a long time, let's just put it that way."
Devin Harris scored 20 points to pace the Nets, who wasted a 10-point lead and lost for the fourth time in five contests. They've also dropped 14 of their last 16 against the Celtics.
The Nets, who were ahead by two going into the final quarter, went just 7- of-24 from the field over the final 12 minutes. Allen's three-pointer provided the Celtics with the lead for good at 70-67 with 8:07 remaining. O'Neal then made two foul shots.
Harris' bucket on a bank shot got the Nets within a point, but the Celtics responded with a 9-1 spurt, with Pierce totaling six points, including the pull-up jumper that culminated the push for an 82-73 cushion with 2:04 to go.
The Nets never made it a one-possession game, only coming as close as four points, on a Harris floater with 1:16 left. Nate Robinson, though, drilled a three-pointer to end any hopes of a New Jersey comeback.
"This is a great team. The best team I've been on," O'Neal said. "They've got a lot of weapons on this team, so on any given night anybody can be the leading scorer. The team's very unselfish, so the shots are going to drop off and they easily could have shot them and did that but...great game. Great team effort. And now we've just got to keep it going."
The Celtics led by a point after one quarter, but the Nets scored the first eight of the second quarter for a 25-18 edge.
With 2:48 left in the half, West hit a layup before landing under the basket on his wrist. X-rays revealed the break, and the veteran is expected to be out an extended period of time.
The Nets built a 46-38 lead at the break and a bank shot from Brook Lopez expanded the lead to double digits at the start of the third quarter.
Lopez had 16 points, two less than teammate Anthony Morrow...Kris Humphries tallied 11 rebounds for the Nets, who held a 42-33 rebounding advantage...Kevin Garnett was limited to eight points for Boston.
- NEW JERSEY: 83
Nov 24 9:59 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 63
End of Regulation
Nov 24 9:20 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 46
Nov 24 8:39 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 17
Nov 24 8:07 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 0
1st Quarter - 15:00
Nov 24 7:42 PM
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