Celtics cruise by Nets
Big second quarter propels Boston to win
NEW YORK – Rajon Rondo lost his cool, and any chance at history, in the second quarter when Boston last met Brooklyn.
This time, the second period featured some of the best basketball the Celtics have played this season.
Rondo scored 19 points in his first full game against the Nets this season, and the Celtics won 93-76 on Tuesday in another game with some heated moments between the division rivals.
Rondo, sidelined in the first meeting and thrown out of the second after shoving Nets forward Kris Humphries into the courtside seats, outplayed counterpart Deron Williams and helped the Celtics take control early.
“We moved the ball; we rebounded the ball,” Rondo said. “They beat us pretty bad on the glass, so tonight we did an exceptional job on the glass, taking care of the defensive rebounds, and we got stops.”
A month after the teams scuffled in Boston, there was another skirmish in the fourth quarter that resulted in four technical fouls. But that was the most fight the Nets put up in a disappointing performance on the national stage of the Christmas opener. They were never in the game after the first 20 minutes, and their fans headed to the exits with under 2 minutes left as a “Let’s go Celtics!” chant broke out.
“It was a big game for us. It was a division rival. We were ready for a big game. It just didn’t happen,” Williams said.
Rookie Jared Sullinger tied a career high with 16 points and Jeff Green had 15 for the Celtics (14-13), who avoided falling under .500 with just their second victory in six games.
The Celtics took control with a 23-5 run in the second quarter of the opener of their four-game road trip. They had 11 assists on 13 baskets and outscored the Nets 34-18 in the period.
“It was good to get off to this start. It was good to finally play from start to finish, especially with the way we’ve been playing against Brooklyn,” said Paul Pierce, who had just eight points on 3-of-10 shooting.
Gerald Wallace and Brook Lopez each scored 15 for the Nets, who have lost four of five. Joe Johnson shot 4 of 14 for 12 points.
Boston’s Kevin Garnett tied Charles Oakley for 15th place on the NBA’s career list with his 1,282nd game.
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