Allen, Scalabrine key early surge as Celtics rollJan 17, 2009 - 10:04 PM EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- On Kids Day at the IZOD Center, it was men against boys, which was good news for the Boston Celtics.
Ray Allen and Brian Scalabrine keyed an 18-2 game-opening run and the Celtics never looked back in a 105-85 rout of the New Jersey Nets on Saturday.
Allen finished with 25 points and Rajon Rondo had eight, 14 assists and nine rebounds for the Celtics, who have recovered from their recent woes to win four straight games.
Kevin Garnett added 12 points and 10 rebounds and Paul Pierce scored 13 for Boston, which had lost four straight to close a 2-7 slide but got healthy against the Nets, beating them for the seventh straight time and the fifth in a row in New Jersey. The Celtics rolled to a 118-86 home rout of the Nets on Wednesday.
"We didn't want to give them confidence starting the game off and get them going, so we just made sure we had a big start both games," Allen said. "You come in thinking that we'll ease our way into the game, we'll find out what's working for us. We know first-hand that's when teams get out and they get confident and they keep it going throughout the game. We lost a couple of games this year that way."
Brook Lopez scored 28 points for the Nets, who have lost three straight and four of their last five games. The rookie center received little help from the starting backcourt of Vince Carter and Devin Harris, who combined for 12 points and four turnovers and were benched for the second half by coach Lawrence Frank.
"I was just totally embarrassed about our performance," Frank said. "It was an embarrassing start to the game and I decided to go in another direction today."
"It's not easy, but I'm going to keep cheering my team on and trying to help any way I can," Carter said. "I understand he has to do the right thing for the team. If I didn't care I wouldn't be cheering them like I was. It's a wakeup call for us."
Mostly in place of Harris, Keyon Dooling finished with nine points and eight assists in 32 minutes.
"The other guys went out there and they gave us a fight," Harris said. "A few calls didn't go our way and we just kind of lost our composure and they took advantage of it."
Boston jumped to a 16-point lead within the first seven minutes of the game behind nine points from Allen and seven from former Net Scalabrine, who started at center. Included in the run was a conventional three-point play by both, with Scalabrine's capping the run with 5:12 left in the first quarter.
"When we were getting stops, we got out and ran," Scalabrine said. "We have a good combination for that. It was right-place-at-right-time for me. With all the attention focused elsewhere, Kevin was dropping dimes to me."
"Kevin and Scal ran the middle of the floor," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "As much as the guards run, I think the bigs running is almost more important in the fast break because if I big runs, he takes a guard with him."
Boston made 10-of-14 shots (71 percent) from inside the arc in the quarter, finishing with a 29-15 lead.
The Nets hung around for the first half of the second quarter, closing within 42-30 when Trenton Hassell made a pair of free throws with 5:35 left, but then the Celtics quickly wiped out New Jersey with a 17-1 burst in just 2:09.
Rondo started it with a 3-pointer from the top of the key to beat the expiring shot clock. Garnett dunked on a fast break, and Rondo set up Allen for a 3-pointer off a steal.
"It all starts on the defensive end," said Rondo, who added he had no indication he was close to a triple-double.
Carter tried to interrupt the run at the four-minute mark with a free throw, but Rondo fed Pierce for a pair of long-range bombs around Garnett's jumper to close the outburst and leave Boston with a 59-31 lead with three minutes left.
"We wanted to make sure we jumped out on them," Pierce said. "You couldn't script it any better, the way we came out there."
Allen hit a 17-footer with a half-second left to make it 68-39 at the intermission. Boston was 14-of-21 (67 percent) from the floor in the second quarter, including 6-of-9 from beyond the arc.
The Celtics built the lead as high as a game-best 30 points in the opening half, shooting 64 percent (25-of-39) while holding New Jersey to 40 percent (14-of-35).
They allowed the Nets to close within 83-63 by the end of the third as Jarvis Hayes hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final 30 seconds. Hayes finished with 15 points.
"Fortunately we have a good break," Harris said. "We have two practices before the next game. We can go home, we have a day off (Sunday), and reflect on what (we) need to bring to the table and start fresh on Monday."
NEW JERSEY 85 FINAL
Jan 17 3:28 PM
NEW JERSEY 63 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 17 2:56 PM
NEW JERSEY 39 HALFTIME
Jan 17 2:13 PM
NEW JERSEY 15 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 17 1:38 PM
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