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Final: Celtics 94, Nets 80

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff  February 16, 2011 07:52 PM

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Final, Celtics, 94-80: Celtics turn in one of their best defensive quarters of the season, holding the Nets to 3-of-24 shooting (12.5 percent). New Jersey finishes with 38-percent shooting after shooting 50 percent through three quarters. Paul Pierce finishes with 31 points and five rebounds in 33 minutes.

Fourth quarter, 3:19, Celtics, 87-78: Paul Pierce hits his first 3-pointer in what seems like a year and the Celtics have played inspired ball the last 15 minutes after falling behind by 9. Pierce has 29 points, making up for his struggles against Miami.

Fourth quarter, 7:15, Celtics, 77-73: Boston has worked hard for this lead, its biggest since early in the second period. Nate Robinson has sparked the Celtics with two consecutive baskets as the bench tries to build a lead for the stretch run.

End of third quarter, Tied at 70: Celtics end the quarter with an 18-9 run and seem to have figured out the Nets defensively, but they have to continue that into the fourth quarter. Paul Pierce has 24 points and Kevin Garnett has 14 and seven rebounds.

Third quarter, 2:58, Nets, 64-63: The Celtics moved Glen Davis to Lopez and the results have been positive. The Nets have stopped scoring with ease as Lopez is struggling to move Davis and create space. The Celtics are on a 6-0 run and Paul Pierce has 21 points.

Third quarter, 7:40, Nets, 61-52: The Nets are going to Brook Lopez , who is wearing out Kendrick Perkins and the Celtics are forced to double, which is opening jumper opportunities for the Nets. And they are hitting them. Celtics have to respond quickly.

Halftime, Tied at 46: The Celtics scored 25 points in the first 9:31 of the game and have scored 21 points in the next 14:29, meaning the offense has slowed down and this has become a grinding game. The Celtics would have preferred something with less suspense. The Nets shot 49 percent in the first half and scored with ease at times. Brook Lopez has 10 points.

Second quarter, 2:56, Celtics, 44-41: The Nets are methodically cutting into the Celtics' lead and Doc Rivers has put the starters back in to restore order. New Jersey is shooting 51.5 percent from the field and 10 Nets have already scored. Paul Pierce leads Boston with 13.

Second quarter, 5:49, Celtics, 36-32: The Celtics played amazing for about eight minutes and have struggled since, while New Jersey has improved and stepped up defensively. The Nets are shooting 50 percent and have 7 points from Devin Harris.

Second quarter, 8:43, Celtics, 33-28: The Nets are not going away and Doc Rivers is trying to steal minutes with the bench and they are playing terrible defense. Devin Harris is scorching Nate Robinson and Brook Lopez is getting it going. Luke Harangody already has 8 points.

End of first quarter, Celtics, 27-22: New Jersey ends the quarter on a 12-2 run after the Celtics led by 15 and Doc Rivers went to the bench. The Nets are not patsies so they remained pretty poised despite the Celtics' early rush. Paul Pierce scored 10 times the amount he did against New Jersey in the first quarter -- 10 points.

First quarter, 6:52, Celtics, 13-6: Paul Pierce definitely has a message to send with 8 points on 4-for-4 shooting as the Celtics are playing with energy while New Jersey coach Avery Johnson called a 20-second timeout in the first minute.

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