Celtics Use 71 First-Half Points to Cruise to Victory Over Nets

Celtics Use 71 First-Half Points to Cruise to Victory Over Nets The story heading into Wednesday night's game was that the Celtics are good and the Nets, well, aren't. The story heading out? It's just about the same.

The Celtics outplayed, outshot and outhustled the Nets up and down the court in the first half, heading to the locker room with a 71-35 lead (yes, you are reading that correctly) and cruised in the second half to a 111-87 victory.

The Celtics improved their NBA-best road record to 16-5, while the Nets dropped to a league-worst 3-35.

Celtics 11, Nets 87
Izod Center, East Rutherford, N.J.
Jan. 13, 2010

Live Blog | Box Score

Headliner: On a night when the offense sparkled, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo were the biggest reasons why. The captain netted 24 points in 28 minutes, going 3-of-5 from 3-point range, 6-of-9 from the field and a perfect 9-for-9 from the free-throw line. Pierce also collected six rebounds.

Rondo, meanwhile, had a double-double, registering 14 assists and 11 points in 28 minutes. He also picked up another steal, robbing Brook Lopez blind after the center pulled down a rebound on a missed foul shot (the Celtics made nine steals in total on the night).

This game had no reason to be close, and Pierce and Rondo made sure it wasn't.

Unsung Hero: It wasn't headline-worthy stuff, but Bill Walker made it on the scoresheet.

The second-year guard drained a jumper midway through the fourth quarter for his first two points of the season, and he later blew by Josh Boone to slam home an aggressive dunk later in the quarter.

The rest of the Celtics' bench also deserves some notice, as they kept the Boston lead in safe hands throughout the second half.

Scrub: It's simply too hard to single out one member of the New Jersey Nets for this prestigious honor. The Nets weren't the only team to get blown out by the Celtics over the past three seasons, but few have shown the lack of fight that the Nets displayed in the second quarter on Wednesday.

The end result was the Celtics pulling down nine offensive rebounds in the first half alone and the teams heading to their locker rooms with the outcome already decided. Rondo's steal on Lopez was the epitome of all that was wrong with the Nets, as the 7-foot Lopez lazily held the ball at his hip as Rondo swept in and made an easy steal.

Last time the C's visited the Izod Center, the Nets gave them a run for their money with just eight guys. This time, they might as well have not shown up at all.

Key Moment: With the Celtics pulling away in the second quarter, Tony Allen put the exclamation point on the first-half blowout with a one-handed alley-oop from behind the backboard.

Paul Pierce lobbed a pass to Allen, who was streaking down the base line and received the pass with one hand. The ball looked to be either under or behind the backboard, yet Allen somehow brought it to the front, ducked his head underneath the backboard (something Blake Griffin wishes he could have done last year) and slammed home the dunk.

For his efforts, he was awarded with a big smack in the head from Kendrick Perkins.

Fortunately, this one didn't take long to find its way onto YouTube. It only gave the Celtics two points in a 24-point win, but it was no doubt demoralizing for the Nets.

What's Next: There won't be much time to soak in this victory for the C's, as they play host to the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night at 8 p.m. The last time the Bulls traveled to Boston, Paul Pierce and the rest of the Celtics' offense exploded for 38 points in the third quarter en route to a 118-90 win in the C's second home game of the season. The Celtics won in Chicago 106-80, winning their 10th straight game at the time.

This time around, the Bulls are coming off consecutive victories over Minnesota and Detroit, two games that followed a three-game losing skid. At 16-20, the Bulls are barely hanging on to the final playoff spot in the East, but a win over the Celtics could give the team some confidence in January.

Glen Davis suffered some form of injury to his wrist, though the severity (or lack thereof) isn't yet known. He spent the end of the game on the bench with a bag of ice on the wrist. The Celtics certainly can't afford any more injuries to a frontcourt that already lacks Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace.

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