for this game

Davis steps up again as Celtics top Nets

Jan 12, 2008 - 4:33 AM By Joe Rizzo PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Oh baby, Glen Davis bailed out the Boston Celtics.

Davis scored six straight points Friday to key a 13-0 run in the fourth quarter that rallied the Celtics to their 10th straight road win, an 86-77 victory over the New Jersey Nets.

A rookie from Louisiana State nicknamed "Big Baby" because of his large frame and youthful looks, the 6-9, 289-pound Davis got the Celtics out of a jam with three straight layups in the fourth-quarter outburst, helping turn a seven-point deficit into a 76-70 lead with 6:11 remaining.

"It's really big," Davis said of coming off the bench to post seven points and four rebounds in just 14 minutes. "The big guys need to rest. I stepped up at the right time to be successful. They needed someone to run the plays. I somehow got the ball and made the shots."

"It broke their zone a little bit," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said of Davis' physical play inside. "Glen's been playing terrific for us."

Kevin Garnett had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Paul Pierce added 18 and eight for Boston, which matched a team record by earning its 30th win in 34 games.

Ray Allen contributed 16 points as he and the Celtics recovered from Wednesday's surprising home loss to the Charlotte Bobcats. Allen was held out of that contest with a pinched nerve in his neck.

"I was ready to play last game," Allen said. "I'm just trying to be smart. I knew last game that I would be playing the next game."

Jason Kidd came up one assist shy of his fourth triple-double in five games, finishing with 11 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists, and Richard Jefferson scored 17 to lead the Nets, who had their three-game home winning streak snapped and lost for the third time in 11 games overall.

New Jersey fell to 9-12 at the Izod Center, which was sold out for the first time this season, despite career-best efforts of 16 rebounds and four blocks from Josh Boone, who added 14 points but missed all six of his free throws as the Nets were just 9-of-24 (37.5 percent) from the line.

"I'm still going to the basket the way I have been doing," Boone said. "I'm not afraid to get fouled. I know that if I step up to the line, I'll try to make it, and if I don't make it, then so what, I'm going to shoot the next one."

Boston was just 13-of-21 (62 percent) on free-throw attempts but made up for it by converting 48 percent (34-of-71) from the floor.

"Both teams need to go out there right now and work on free throws," Rivers joked.

"As bad as we shot free throws, I don't think we ever shot 37 percent," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "There is not a whole lot you could do as long as you put in work and have a routine."

The Nets held a 70-63 lead after Jefferson's bucket with 11:35 left in the game, but Tony Allen started the Celtics' 13-point run with a basket 19 seconds later.

After Davis converted inside three straight times to give Boston the lead for good, Eddie House made a layup on a fast break following a steal, and Allen capped it with a 3-pointer with 6:11 left for his first points since the opening period.

Boston's defense forced New Jersey to miss 16 of its 19 shots and score just nine points in the fourth quarter.

"You have to get back (on defense) against New Jersey or Jason Kidd will kill you," Rivers said. "We made that run with Kevin and Paul out. It was tremendous. We need to rest our starters. I love wins like that. If you play defense, you give yourself a chance. Jason Kidd in the open court - you can't do anything with that."

New Jersey built a 30-22 advantage by the end of the first quarter, leaving Boston behind after one for just the seventh time this season. The Celtics are now 5-2 when trailing after the first.

The Nets opened the lead to 12 points on Boone's putback early in the second quarter, but the Celtics later rallied with a 9-0 burst - capped by Garnett's 12-footer - to knot the game, 39-39, at the 4:29 mark.

It was tied at 60-60 in the third quarter when Vince Carter and Bostjan Nachbar hit 3-pointers, setting the stage for the play of the game.

Kidd grabbed a rebound at the left elbow, faked a pass to the right side and fed Carter - who was charging the baseline - for a thunderous righthanded jam that pushed the lead to 68-60 with 56 seconds left in the third.

"The shots were there," said Carter, who had 16 points but was bothered by his stomach in the first half. "We had good looks. We had great looks. It's tough because we were getting everything we wanted, and that was our goal. We cut it close and actually came close to winning. We just couldn't finish."

Kidd (9,065) moved into fifth place on the NBA's all-time assists list, passing Knicks coach Isiah Thomas (9,061).

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