NEWARK, N.J. — Rasheed Wallace scored 20 points and
Rajon Rondo added 18 points and 13 assists to lead the Boston Celtics to a 91-88
preseason victory over the New Jersey Nets on Tuesday night in the first NBA
game in the Prudential Center.
Glen Davis scored 18 points for the Celtics (3-1).
Courtney Lee had 21 points for the Nets (0-4), while
Chris Douglas-Roberts added 19 points and Brook Lopez had 17 points and 10
The Nets closed the first half on an 18-7 run to take a
60-47 lead. Lopez had six points in the run while Devin Harris and Lee both had
The Celtics scored the final seven points of the third
quarter to cut New Jersey's lead to 77-70. They took an 85-82 lead midway
through the fourth quarter on a jumper by Rondo.
The Nets led by one when they turned the ball over on a
shot-clock violation with 42.7 seconds remaining. Eddie House hit an off-balance
jumper for an 89-88 lead. The Nets best chance to take the lead vanished when
Douglas-Roberts was called for an offensive foul.
Several prominent Celtics had the night off. Paul Pierce,
Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen did not play. Marquis Daniels played only the first
half, sitting out the rest of the game with an upset stomach.
For the Nets, Harris, who finished with nine points, did
not return after halftime because of a strained right groin. Yi Jianlian left
after the first half with a strained right shoulder.
The Nets will play another preseason game at the
Prudential Center, Oct. 21 against the New York Knicks.
The Nets play their regular-season games at the Izod
Center in East Rutherford. Scheduling the two exhibition games at the Prudential
Center fueled speculation that they were a test run of a potential new home.
Nets officials insist Newark is not the long-range
answer, that a new arena in Brooklyn, N.Y. will be their ultimate destination.
If the remaining legal and financial obstacles are overcome, the Nets hope to
break ground on the Brooklyn arena later this year with the goal of playing
there in 2011-12.
The game drew 12,790 to the Prudential Center, the home
of the NHL's New Jersey Devils that opened in October 2007.