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.