Celtics vs. Nets: Paul Pierce, Boston Fall Flat In New Jersey, Lose 88-79

Paul Pierce was held to seven points on 2-of-10 shooting and the Boston Celtics were defeated by the New Jersey Nets, 88-79, on Monday night at the Prudential Center. Read more at SB Nation New York, as well as our team blogs, CelticsBlog and NetsDaily.

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New Jersey 88, Boston 79: Paul Pierce, C's Fall Flat In New Jersey

The days of blowouts and easy wins in New Jersey may be long gone for Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics.

Pierce was held to seven points on 2-of-10 shooting as the New Jersey Nets beat the Boston Celtics, 88-79, on Monday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Boston (47-18) grabbed a 23-15 lead after one quarter, but New Jersey (22-43) charged back to outscored the Celtics, 22-15, in the second quarter to cut its halftime deficit to one point, 38-37.

The third quarter proved to be the decisive one for the Nets, who scored 31 points while holding the Celtics to 21 points. In the fourth quarter, the Nets edged the Celtics, outscoring them by three, 21-18, to seal the win.

Ray Allen led the way with 19 points for the Celtics, which was held to 41.2% shooting and made 2-of-10 three-point attempts. Kevin Garnett had 18 points and eight rebounds and Glen Davis added 16 points and 14 rebounds.

New Jersey had five players in double-digit scoring en route to its fifth straight win. Brook Lopez had 20 points and five rebounds and both Deron Williams (nine assists) and Kris Humphries (15 rebounds) scored 16 points. Anthony Morrow had 15 points and Travis Outlaw scored 12 points off the bench for the Nets.

The Nets shot 39.7% from the field and 44% (11-for-20) beyond the arc on the way to their longest winning streak in three years.

Boston returns home to face the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. EST.

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Celtics vs. Nets: Stingy Celts In Jersey To Take On New Look Nets

It took a visit from the offensively incompetent Milwaukee Bucks to get the Celtics back on the right track. On Monday night, they will try to keep up the good work against one of their favorite opponents, the New Jersey Nets.

The Celts hit beautiful, downtown Newark to face the Nets at 7 p.m. EDT, on Comcast Sports Net New England. Boston owns New Jersey, having won 15 of 16 since the '06-'07 season, including all three meeting this season, in which the C's have allowed just 79.3 points per game. Given their problems scoring and the Celtics coming off a record-setting performance in holding the Bucks to just 56 points on Sunday night, the circumstances don't bode well for the Nets.

But these aren't necessarily the same lousy Nets that Celts fans know and love. A couple of days before last month's trade deadline, New Jersey acquired star point guard Deron Williams from the Utah Jazz and since then, the Nets are a different team. Williams is averaging 15.8 points and 15.2 assists per game since the deal and the Nets have won four in a row. A win Monday night would give them their first five-game winning streak since the middle of the 2007-2008 season.

The Celts may have played Sunday evening, but they will be well rested for the Nets. No one played more than 30 minutes in the rout of Milwaukee and the entire starting five sat out the whole fourth quarter. Nenad Krstic will be looking for his third straight double-double while Paul Pierce, who scored 31 points the last time these two teams met on Feb. 16, and has averaged 19 points per game in the three meetings with the Nets this year. Glen Davis, who returned from a four-game absence against the Bucks, scored nine points and grabbed seven rebounds against Milwaukee, giving the Celts newly constructed bench a much needed shot of experience.

The Nets will counter not only with Williams, but with center Brook Lopez, who has put up 27.4 points on 56 percent shooting over the course of the Nets streak, but has managed just 13 per game in the Nets three games against the Celts this season.

The game will be the Celtics third in four nights and is part of a run of six games in nine days.

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