Celtics Extend Winning Streak to Seven With Blowout of New Jersey Nets

Celtics Extend Winning Streak to Seven With Blowout of New Jersey NetsFinal: Celtics 100, Nets 75. The Celtics have put the Nets out of their misery. It's a 25-point drubbing for the Nets on their home floor, the second time the C's have beaten them in as many weeks.

Nate Robinson shines for the C's in the absence of Rajon Rondo, carrying the load with 21 points, six assists and six rebounds. Four other Celtics score in double figures, including 16 off the bench for Glen Davis.

Jordan Farmar drops 16 for the Nets.

The C's now return home, where they'll take on the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night at the TD Garden.

Fourth quarter, 4:07, Celtics 94-66: The Celtics' bench guys just can't stop making hustle plays. Blowout? What blowout?

Marquis Daniels with the steal and the post-up. Avery Bradley swoops in and tips it in when Daniels misses.

The C's second unit is playing together masterfully. They're not playing to the score — they're just playing their game.

Fourth quarter, 6:42, Celtics 90-62: One silver lining for the Nets: Jordan Farmar has looked like a starting-caliber point guard. No joke.

Farmar's got 16 points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists on an otherwise lousy afternoon for the Nets. He just dished a sweet assist to Johan Petro in the lane, finding him in motion driving to the basket.

Farmar can make plays. He survived four years as a key bench cog in L.A. for a reason.

Fourth quarter, 8:09, Celtics 88-58: If the Nets keep losing hopelessly like they are in this one, you have to wonder how long Avery Johnson will continue to be this cautious with his promising rookie Derrick Favors.

Favors was the No. 3 overall pick in the draft this summer, and he has the potential to be an All-Star power forward in this league. But he's been buried on the depth chart by the likes of Kris Humphries, which limits his ability to grow as a player.

At a certain point, the Nets have to start thinking about their future.

Fourth quarter, 10:07, Celtics 80-53: KG isn't on the floor, but he's on the sidelines pounding his fists and screaming in support of Semih Erden.

Semih just swooped in from out of nowhere to block a shot by Stephen Graham. The Turkish rookie has shown tremendous energy in this game, especially in the second half. He's defending and rebounding like an All-Star.

Like Kevin Garnett, you could say.

End of third quarter, Celtics 80-53: Kevin Garnett just put his warmups back on and took a seat. Paul Pierce likely isn't far behind.

Rajon Rondo is out, and Shaquille O'Neal is sitting out this half with a sore right calf. Only three starters left, and you probably won't see them for much of the fourth quarter, either.

They've earned the rest. Their play has been fantastic, and it's about to yield a seventh straight win for the Celtics.

Third quarter, 3:27, Celtics 75-48: Is there a crazier competitor on Earth than Kevin Garnett?

Doesn't matter that this game's a laugher — he's still playing, he's still dreneched in sweat, he's still letting out the occasional primal scream.

KG just got to the free-throw line and put the Celtics up by 27. He's not acting like they're up 27, though.

Third quarter, 5:09, Celtics 72-48: Don't look now, but Nate Robinson is the leading scorer in this game. He's got 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting.

He's also got five assists, four rebounds and a steal. He's stepped up admirably in Rajon Rondo's absence once again.

The C's are cruising to their seventh straight win.

Third quarter, 6:20, Celtics 69-48: Kevin Garnett has cranked out yet another double-double — a tough fadeaway jumper here gives him 10 points and 11 rebounds for afternoon.

It's KG's second dub-dub in a row, and his 10th of the season. So he's in double figures in double figures, if that makes any sense. Which it doesn't.

Third quarter, 9:39, Celtics 63-42: The C's just stretched their lead to 21 with a nice transition bucket, as Ray Allen makes a perfect lob down court to Nate Robinson under the basket. Nate finishes.

The Celtics are really impressive when they can get transition points without Rondo on the floor. It's a total team effort, and everyone's pitching in.

Halftime, Celtics 57-37: The Nets don't break double digits for the second quarter until the 31.9-second mark. That's how lights-out the Celtics' defense has been so far.

The C's get 12 points from Glen Davis, 11 from Ray Allen, and tremendous defensive effort from everyone on the roster. Without even using their best player, the C's have built up a 20-point lead by halftime.

Jordan Farmar has eight points, two rebounds, two steals and an assist to lead the Nets. He's been all over the place doing little things, but the Nets are lacking in big things. They need to put the ball in the hole.

Second quarter, 2:11, Celtics 48-31: Troy Murphy has averaged a double-double for six seasons of his career. He's a tremendous post presence, and he's capable of being a major player here in New Jersey.

So why he's chucking up 24-footers early in the shot clock, I couldn't tell you. He's a better player than that.

The Nets' execution has all kinds of issues right now. Hence the 17-point deficit.

Second quarter, 3:56, Celtics 46-29: The Celtics are now leading the second quarter 19-4. This is just getting silly.

It's a testament to how Doc Rivers has his entire team, the end of the bench included, committed to playing defense. The Nets haven't had a good clean look at the basket all quarter.

Second quarter, 6:16, Celtics 40-29: With the Nets' starting front line of Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries off the floor, Shaquille can run wild. He's loving it.

Shaq just got to the basket for a layup and a three-point play.

Not coincidentally, Avery Johnson is going to his bench to get Lopez and Humphries back in ASAP.

Second quarter, 8:11, Celtics 33-25: Shaquille O'Neal and Marquis Daniels just traded places. Shaq was running the point, winging entry passes to his Celtic teammates, and Daniels was under the basket posting up.

Daniels' versatility never ceases to impress. He's helped the Celtics rack up their biggest lead of the afternoon so far, at eight.

Second quarter, 9:52, Celtics 29-25: Glen Davis gets things started for the C's in the second quarter, plowing into the lane for a driving layup. He's got all six of the Celtics' bench points so far.

Both teams look a little shaky offensively with their bench units on the floor. It's especially worrisome for the Celtics — Doc Rivers has said that he's not comfortable using all five bench guys at once, but it's unusual that the one starter he sticks with is Shaquille O'Neal. This unit has no experience playing together. If Shaq and Avery Bradley didn't have lockers next to each other, I'm not even sure they would have met yet.

End of first quarter, Celtics 27-25: Doc Rivers hinted before this game that his guard rotation might be a little strange. He wasn't kidding — Von Wafer has already logged a couple of minutes off the bench in place of Ray Allen, and Avery Bradley even jumped in as a defensive replacement for the final eight seconds of the quarter.

Jordan Farmar burns Bradley and gets to the basket; he misses a driving layup, but Damion James tips it back in.

The Nets are looking sharp offensively. Brook Lopez has four points, five rebounds and two assists to lead their charge back into the game.

First quarter, 2:42, Celtics 23-16: Whether Rondo plays or not, the key to the Celtics' offensive game is always the same — efficiency.

The C's have made 10 of their first 16 shots in this game, or 62.5 percent. It's a challenge to maintain the crisp ball movement without Rondo out there, but it's imperative for the C's. Good passing generates good shots.

First quarter, 3:46, Celtics 21-14: The Celtics are working hard on defense early on. Their ball pressure isn't the same without Rondo, but the C's are contesting shots with suffocating effort. No one in white can get an open look.

They're closing out possessions, too. Kevin Garnett has four rebounds already, three of them on the defensive side.

First quarter, 6:26, Celtics 15-11: Doc Rivers is in luck — Nets coach Avery Johnson calls a timeout right when Rivers himself needs one.

He's got to pull Nate Robinson aside and tell him to relax with the happy-go-lucky shooting. Nate's already put up four shots out of the Celtics' 10, including three 3-pointers.

Think about that for a second — 30 percent of the Celtics' shots are Nate Robinson treys.

First quarter, 7:56, Celtics 11-8: What? Passing? What's that?

Nate Robinson swoops in to steal a defensive rebound from Brook Lopez, dashes down the floor, stops at the 3-point line and chucks one. Swish. He's got eight of the Celtics' 11 points now.

Rondo has a lot of strengths, but he can't do this. Nate makes the Celtics an entirely different team.

First quarter, 9:05, Celtics 7-6: The Celtics have become primarily a jump-shooting team without Rondo on the floor generating good looks. So when they do get an opportunity to run, they'd better take advantage.

Nate Robinson wins a 3-on-2 fast break on a defensive rebound, and he finishes at the rim. He's now got five points for the C's early on.

First quarter, 11:41, Celtics 3-0: Nate Robinson's going to be a scoring machine again this time, it would appear. Nate scoops up a loose ball and gets an open look at a wing 3 — he drains it. The C's have an early lead.

12:45 p.m.: You see the guy in the photo next to this paragraph? Yeah, well, he won't be playing.

Rajon Rondo is a surprise last-minute scratch from the Celtics' starting five, taking the Sunday afternoon off to rest his still-sore hamstring. Nate Robinson will start in his place.

This is Robinson's fourth start in a Celtics uniform. In the first three, he took it upon himself to be an explosive scorer. Look for more of the same this time.

9 a.m.: The Celtics are on a dazzling winning streak, but in today's NBA, they're not alone.

The C's beat the Bulls on Friday night for their sixth consecutive win. Meanwhile the Magic had won six straight (before a shorthanded loss in Milwaukee on Saturday night), the Nuggets have won six, and the Mavericks have rattled off nine wins in a row. If the C's want to earn a little respect around the league, they've got to keep it up.

They're on the road Sunday afternoon, taking on a New Jersey Nets team that's lost three in a row and looks headed for the draft lottery again next summer. This is one of the ones the Celtics are supposed to win, but those are the games that trip these C's up sometimes. Sunday will be about staying focused and taking care of business.

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