Celts lose again, 114-98 to Brooklyn
Joe Johnson scored 27 points for the Nets as Brooklyn beat the Celtics 114-98 Friday night.
Mason Plumlee scored 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting as the Nets produced a 56.4 percent mark from the floor, making 9-of-17 3-pointers. Paul Pierce finished with 14 points and Andray Blatche chipped in 10 off the bench for Brooklyn, which pulled within a game of fourth-place Chicago in the Eastern Conference standings.
Avery Bradley tied a career high with 28 points for Boston, which has dropped six of its last seven. Jeff Green added 16 points and Rajon Rondo collected 12 points and 12 assists against zero turnovers for the Celtics. After Bradley hit a jumper midway through the second quarter to forge a 45-45 tie, the Nets reeled off an 11-3 run and never trailed again.
Johnson and Deron Williams hit 3-pointers before the break to give Brooklyn a 64-54 lead at halftime. Boston pulled within nine points on a Brandon Bass layup early in the third before Plumlee had a dunk and Johnson scored five straight points to expand the advantage out to 16 points. The margin ballooned to 22 in the fourth as the Nets won for the 10th time in 12 games.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Rondo has 41 assists and just six turnovers in his last three games. ... Nets F Kevin Garnett (back) missed his 11th straight game and the second in a row against his former team. ... G Jorge Gutierrez also contributed 10 points as the Brooklyn bench outscored