BOSTON - You couldn't have much worse of a first half than the Boston Celtics did on Wednesday night against the New Jersey Nets. Boston was held to 34 points on 13-of-33 shooting (39.4 percent) while allowing 35 points to the Nets -- 15 of which came from rookie guard MarShon Brooks. The lone bright spot of the half for Boston was Paul Pierce (13 points).
The second half, though, was a much different story. Boston used a big third quarter to take firm control of the game, which they would ultimately win 89-70 en route to their fourth straight win and third in a row at home this season. The Celtics outscored the Nets, 29-12, in the quarter while shooting a sizzling 62.5 percent on 10-of-16 shooting.
"I think we were happy with the way we played defense we just cleaned up a few things," said Pierce, who scored 11 of his game-high 24 points in the third quarter. "We stopped turning the ball over and we stopped giving them offensive rebounds and I think those are the two factors that really kept them in the game. Overall we were happy with the way we defended, really it was just our offense that was killing us with the turnovers and offensive rebounds."
The third quarter opened with an 11-9 run for the Celtics, allowing them to take a one point lead (45-44) with 7:11 to play. From there on out, it was all Boston. Pierce hit a pair of three-pointers to give Boston an 11-point lead with 4:21 remaining and the Celtics built their lead up to 16 points (63-47) by the quarter's end.
"We got out and ran a little bit," Pierce said. "We knew if we just kept it simple we knew we could push the lead and I think that's pretty much what we did. If the shot was there we took it, if it wasn't we hit the open man and made the next pass and we just ran our offense like we know we can and it just works. We [have] trust in our system. If we run it all the way through and trust each other then we will get good shots and if we are able to lock down on defense and rebound the way we did tonight we are a tough team to beat."
Pierce and the Celtics carry their tough-to-beat mentality into their game against the revamped Indiana Pacers in their next game on Friday night at TD Garden.