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Final: Nets 97, Celtics 96

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  October 16, 2012 09:58 PM

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Final: Nets 97, Celtics 96: A Kris Joseph heave goes wide as the Celtics lose. On the play before the Celtics drew up a great lob for Micah Downs, but he missed the layup.

What did we learn? Paul Pierce (29 points) is really good. Jeff Green (14 points, 8 free throws) is the focal point of the second unit. Jared Sullinger (9 rebounds) has some serious mitts. We learned absolutely nothing about the Nets, who sat all of their good players.

Courtney Lee (13 points) was also as aggressive as we've seen him in the preseason so far. He's going to be fine.

4:40 4th quarter. Celtics 91-83: The Celtics are shooting a respectable 49 percent in this game. Rondo (2 for 7), Terry (1 for 4), and Green (3 for 8) are the outliers.

8:45 4th quarter, Celtics 85-78: Without Darko Milicic, the play of Jason Collins becomes an interesting storyline. In 11 minutes Collins is 2 for 2 with four points. He has yet to collect a rebound. He doesn't look to be earning serious rotational minutes to this point.

End 3d quarter, Celtics 83-74: Doc Rivers said before the game that he might go home early and watch the debate. Well, he's watching the game from the locker room in the second half. I didn't think he'd actually do it!

4:52 3d quarter, Celtics 71-60: Pierce hits another three before missing the mark on one. He's 6-for-8 on 3-pointers in the game and smiling all the way up the court.

7:04 3d quarter, Celtics 63-58: Pierce hits a 3-pointer and then Courtney Lee nails one of his own. The whole Celtics bench was on their feet before Lee released that 3-pointer. Really cool to see.

9:10 3d quarter, Nets 58-53: Powerful block at the rim by Garnett on Carleton Scott (what, you don't know who he is?) leading to a fast break on the other end, but Pierce can't convert. Once KG sits down you're unlikely to see him again.

piercedrivenets.jpgHalftime, Celtics 49-47: Courtney Lee showed his ability to be a running mate for Rajon Rondo right before the half, finishing off a fast break with a layup in full stride. You know Rondo likes that.

Andray Blatche is keeping Brooklyn in the game with 15 points.

5:11 2d quarter, Celtics 43-35: Back-to-back 3-pointers from Paul Pierce give him 20 points for the game and gives the Celtics a little lead. Pierce will never not be underrated, but in case we needed a reminder, he's really, really good.

8:53 2d quarter, Nets 28-27: Pierce is leading the Celtics with 10 points, but Jeff Green is clearly trying to get involved in the offense now. The Celtics are clearly making him the focal point of the second unit.

End 1st quarter, Nets 25-21: The Celtics started their regular starters against Brooklyn's backups and got beat. That sure ain't good.

In other news, I just had a fan behind me say, "There's no way Fab Melo is here, because he'd definitely start over Jared Sullinger." In Maine maybe.

4:15 1st quarter, Nets 15-14: Jason Terry into the ballgame. The lineup is Rondo, Terry, Pierce, Green, and Bass. Kind of like it.

7:40 1st quarter, Celtics 9-2: Jared Sullinger is really, really beastly on the glass. He tipped an offensive rebound up in the air, cleared space with his behind, and snagged it with those big paws. Fun to watch. Paul Pierce has five points.

Pregame: If the Celtics and Nets play a preseason game at TD Garden while there's a presidential debate going on, does the game still make a sound? Against better judgment we're going to blog this one. Keep it here for updates.

Here's Brooklyn's actual starting lineup: C.J. Watson, Keith Bogans, Josh Childress, Reggie Evans, and Andray Blatche.

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