The Celtics lost the game and may have lost Rajon Rondo for a few more after a fight broke out during the second quarter of Brooklyn's 95-83 win Wednesday night at TD Garden.
The Nets used a 38-12 run over a 13-minute span in the first and second quarters to take a 47-26 lead with 3:49 remaining in the second. With 25.9 seconds to go in the half Kevin Garnett was fouled by Brooklyn's Kris Humphries. Rondo came to Garnett's defense, shoving Humphries and setting off a fight that spilled over into the first few rows of the stands. Rondo and Humphries were ejected; Brooklyn's Gerald Wallace, who already had one technical foul, received a second and was tossed. Garnett received a technical. In addition to losing Rondo, the Celtics had nine turnovers in the second quarter.
The home team fared better in the second half but the hole was too much to overcome. The Nets shot just 40 percent from the field in the win. Brooklyn had 16 offensive rebounds after getting 18 the first time these teams played. Jerry Stackhouse had 17 points for the Nets. Garnett finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds for Boston.
Adding injuries to insult, Chris Wilcox left the game in the first half with an illness. Jeff Green left in the second with what the team called a sprained knee but returned to the game. Courtney Lee had his left wrist attended to after taking a hard hit from Reggie Evans but also returned. With the win the Nets improved to 10-4, while the Celtics dropped to 8-7.
7:53 4th quarter, Nets 76-65: The Nets are shooting 37 percent from the field and lead by 11. Unbelievable. Jeff Green has returned to the court but is not in the game.
9:20 4th quarter, Nets 73-63: Jeff Green has a sprained right knee and his return is "possible", according to a team spokesman.
End 3d quarter, Nets 70-55: Celtics stuck on 11 assists and 15 turnovers. Jerry Stackouse is the game's leading scorer with 14 points. The Celtics say Chris Wilcox is ill and is questionable to return to the game.
2:40 3d quarter, Nets 66-49: Paul Pierce is 1 of 6 at the free throw line. Very odd for him.
5:12 3d quarter, Nets 60-47: The Celtics are trying to claw back. It doesn't help that they haven't hit a 3-pointer today (0 for 4).
8:30 3d quarter, Nets 58-44: Trying to return to normalcy here. Courtney Lee playing the point for Rondo, who left the game with three assists. So the assist streak is over.
26.2 seconds 2d quarter, Nets 51-35: Melee erupts here at the Garden under the basket near the Celtics bench. Not good. Players throwing punches. Someone is going to be leaving this game.
1:02 2d quarter, Nets 49-35: Technical foul on Gerald Wallace, who wasn't happy with a no-call on the offensive end that resulted in a steal by Rondo.
3:49 2d quarter, Nets 46-26: Chris Wilcox ran back to the locker room a few minutes ago and has not come back out. Jason Collins really struggling. Celtics are now 13 of 34 from the field.
7:15 2d quarter, Nets 41-26: This is getting bad for the Celtics, who have turned the ball over nine times. On consecutive possessions they couldn't get the ball over half court, prompting Rajon Rondo to walk to the scorer's table.
8:53 2d quarter, Nets 35-24: Andray Blatche has 10 rebounds for the Nets. The Celtics have 13 rebounds as a team.
10:00 2d quarter, Nets 31-20: Jason Collins is making just his second appearance of the season. His last appearance was also against the Nets.
End 1st quarter, Nets 28-20:Things got out of hand in a hurry for the home team at the end of the quarter as Brooklyn went on a 14-6 run. Jared Sullinger picked up two quick fouls, one in frustration, against the relentless Reggie Evans. The Celtics haven't attempted a free throw. The Nets are 4 of 6 on 3-pointers. The Celtics are plus-5 with Kevin Garnett on the floor and minus-13 without him.
2:44 1st quarter, Nets 17-16: Rondo's alley-oop to Chris Wilcox -- for his team-leading 14th dunk of the season -- got the crowd going. Joe Johnson found himself free for a pair of 3-pointers in transition that came much too easily.
6:51 1st quarter, Celtics 14-9: Doc Rivers gets a technical foul while sitting on the bench. He's understandably livid. Official Kevin Fehr gave him the tech, then walked to the other side of the court so Rivers couldn't talk to him.
The C's are humming on offense. They're 7 of 11 from the floor with five assists. Paul Pierce leads the team with two of them; Rondo has one.
9:11 1st quarter, Nets 7-6: The Celtics are struggling defensively. Kris Humphries got a wide open offensive rebound with three white shirts around him.
Pregame: We've got a good old-fashioned Atlantic Division battle tonight at the Garden as the Celtics take on the Nets.
"They're good, a good basketball team," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "Good balance, great size. ... they've had a great summer."