Pierce leads Celtics past NetsJan 5, 2012 - 5:52 AM Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce scored 24 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out five assists as the Boston Celtics pulled away in the second half to take down the New Jersey Nets, 89-70.
Brandon Bass had 15 points and 13 rebounds while Kevin Garnett added 14 points and 12 boards for the Celtics, who won their fourth consecutive game since Pierce made his season debut Friday against Detroit. He missed the first three games of the year -- all Celtics losses -- due to a bone bruise in his right heel.
Ray Allen sat out Wednesday's game due to flu-like symptoms.
MarShon Brooks started in place of Deron Williams -- who missed the contest due to sore ribs -- and scored 17 points to lead the Nets, who lost their sixth straight game since opening the season with a victory over Washington.
"They really turned up the pressure, clamped us down, and smothered us. They're a championship team with a lot of experience," Nets head coach Avery Johnson said.
Up by just a point with 7:11 to play in the third quarter, the Celtics closed the stanza on an 18-3 run to take a 63-47 advantage into the fourth. Pierce had nine points and Bass added six points during the surge.
"We just played better, played harder. Executed better. The ball was moving," Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said of the third quarter.
Boston outscored New Jersey 29-12 in the stanza and shot nearly 63 percent, while limiting the Nets to just 31 percent from the field.
The Celtics took their largest lead, 75-51, on a Garnett jumper with 7:13 remaining in the fourth. Boston cruised the rest of the way.
Pierce paced the Celtics in the first quarter with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting, and they took an 18-17 lead into the second.
However, New Jersey carried a 35-34 advantage into the locker room. Brooks poured in 15 of his points in the opening half, including nine in the second quarter.
Kris Humphries missed the contest due to a sprained left shoulder...Williams has averages of 17.3 points and 6.0 assists in the first six games for New Jersey this season...Boston outscored New Jersey, 29-12, in the third quarter...The Nets knocked down just 4-of-20 attempts from three-point range...Brooks tweaked his ankle late in the second quarter and scored just two points in the second half.
- NEW JERSEY: 70
Jan 4 9:47 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 47
End of 3rd
Jan 4 9:18 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 35
Jan 4 8:35 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 17
End of 1st
Jan 4 8:05 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Jan 4 7:41 PM
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