Rajon Rondo stepping up in a nationally televised game certainly wasn't a surprise. Jared Sullinger doing so, however, was.
Rondo and Sullinger teamed up to help the Boston Celtics pick apart the Brooklyn Nets, 93-76, and spoil their holiday in a nationally televised affair at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Christmas Day.
Rondo finished with a team-high 19 points on 8-of-16 shooting and also had five assists, five rebounds and three steals while Sullinger filled up the stat sheet with 16 points (6-of-7 shooting), seven rebounds and one block. Jeff Green also had a nice afternoon coming off the bench, amassing 15 points. Boston shot 49.4 percent as a team and hit 60.0 percent of its shots from long distance while also posting a 41-36 advantage on the boards and improving to 14-13 on the season.
Brook Lopez led the Nets with 15 points and eight rebounds while Deron Williams had a relatively quiet game with 10 points and six assists. Joe Johnson chipped in with 12 points and Jerry Stackhouse added seven off the bench for Brooklyn, which was limited to 40.6 percent shooting as a unit.
The Celtics trailed by two, 24-22, after one quarter but used a huge second quarter to pull ahead 56-42 at halftime, outscoring the Nets 34-18 in the period. Brooklyn made a run in the third quarter, rattling off nine straight points during the frame, but couldn't build on their success after a 7-0 run to close the quarter for Boston and failed to make a significant run in the fourth quarter on the way to their ninth loss in the month of December and 13th overall this season.
Chippiness would ensue late in the third quarter after Garnett and Gerald Wallace (15 points) became tangled up when Wallace grabbed and wouldn't let go of Garnett's shorts. The two received technicals fouls for the mix up, which likely stemmed back to last month's altercation between the two teams at TD Garden that resulted in the ejection of Rondo, Wallace and Kris Humphries. Humphries did not play on Christmas Day due to an abdominal strain.
Boston returns to action late Thursday evening against Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers, marking the second game of the Celtics' four-game west coast trip. Brooklyn faces the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.
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