NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, November 28th (All times Eastern)
Brooklyn Nets (9-4) at Boston Celtics (8-6), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - In what could be the passing of the torch in the Atlantic Division, the suddenly-popular Brooklyn Nets are set to square off with the veteran Boston Celtics Wednesday in a matchup from TD Garden.
Brooklyn completed a perfect three-game homestand with a 96-89 overtime victory against the local New York Knicks Monday night. Brook Lopez finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Deron Williams chipped in 16 points and 14 assists to lead the Nets to their eighth win in 10 tries.
"I'm glad we rewarded our fans with a victory," Nets head coach Avery Johnson said. "Every time some sort of Knicks contingency started to cheer, our fans got louder."
Gerald Wallace and Jerry Stackhouse scored 16 and 14 points, respectively, for Brooklyn, which is 7-1 at new Barclays Center. The Nets are 6-1 against the East this season and share first place in the Atlantic with the Knicks.
Defense has been key for the Nets, who have held their opponents to under 40 points in the second half in each of the past three games. Brooklyn is allowing just 91.3 ppg this season -- the second-lowest in the NBA -- and owns an 8-1 mark when keeping opponents under 100 points.
Brooklyn is 4-0 when scoring 100-plus points and will begin a three-game road trip Wednesday against Boston, Orlando and Miami.
Meanwhile, the Celtics have won two in a row since losing three of four games and are coming off Sunday's 116-110 overtime triumph at Orlando.
Kevin Garnett led the charge with 24 points and 10 rebounds for Boston, which shot 44.8 percent from the floor and got 23 points from Paul Pierce. Rajon Rondo had 15 points, 16 assists. nine rebounds and two steals in the win.
The Celtics, champions of the Atlantic Division in each of the past five seasons, outscored the Magic 14-8 in the extra period.
"We let them back in the game so we had to find a way to win," Pierce said. "That was what it was all about, finding a way to win. We were not feeling sorry for ourselves by giving up a pretty big lead. We had to grind it out. That is what we did."
Brandon Bass finished with 13 points and 12 boards for Boston.
Rondo extended his streak of at least 10 assists in a game to 37, matching John Stockton's 37-game run from Feb. 27-Nov. 29, 1989. Magic Johnson holds the record at 46 games from April 13, 1983-Feb. 28, 1984.
Garnett will tie Celtics legend John Havlicek (1,270) tonight for 18th place on the all-time games played list.
The Celtics will host the Portland Trail Blazers Friday and are 4-3 in Beantown. They recently lost to the Nets 102-97 back on Nov. 15 in Brooklyn, but have won 18 of the last 21 meetings between the teams. The Nets have lost four in a row and nine of 10 at TD Garden.
11/28 10:50:25 ET