BOSTON, Feb. 2 (Ticker) --
The New Jersey Nets' defense put up such
little resistance that Paul Pierce
produced a triple-double with
time to spare - in the third quarter.
Pierce collected 28 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in less
than three periods as the Boston Celtics routed the Nets,
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"I can't think of any better (individual performance) this
year," said Pierce, who made 9-of-15 shots. "It was a game we
needed. I just wanted to come out and give us a lot of energy
from the jump."
added 21 points and eight rebounds for the
Celtics, who snapped the Nets' season-high four-game winning
Pierce and LaFrentz, teammates at Kansas, combined for 26 of
Boston's 32 points in the third quarter.
"As you all know, Raef and me played together in college and we
have good chemistry on the court, and I know where he likes the
ball on the court and that makes a big difference," Pierce said.
"He's a big man who can run the floor and has big hands, and
if I can get the ball in his hands, I know he's a great
"He was trying to build up his assists," LaFrentz joked. "He
knew where he was at on the triple-double charts. He did a good
job penetrating (the lane)."
The Celtics led by as many as 29 points and shot 54 percent
(39-of-72) from the field en route to the ninth victory in their
last 11 regular-season home meetings with the Nets.
Boston held just a 32-29 lead early in the second quarter before
embarking on a 16-3 run, opening a 48-32 cushion on a pair of
free throws from rookie Tony Allen with three minutes left.
"We played a little bit different defense tonight," LaFrentz
said. "Looks like it worked out pretty well. We were able to
challenge a lot of shots and contain them on the glass."
Boston, ranked 23rd in the league in rebounding, won the battle
of the boards, 42-35. New Jersey came in ranked 28th in the
"We were outplayed," Nets coach Lawrence Frank
said. "We were a
step slow and couldn't get a whole lot done. We just allowed
too many easy scores."
Pierce, who recorded his second triple-double of the season and
fourth career, pushed the advantage to 87-58 on a layup with
1:35 left in the third quarter, then exited the game for good 27
The Celtics won easily without much from guard Ricky Davis
had scored 24 points in each of the last two games. He sat out
the entire second half with flu-like symptoms and did not score
in eight minutes.
scored 25 points and Vince Carter
22 for the Nets,
who shot just 39 percent (29-of-75) after connecting on at least
half their shots during their winning streak. Neither star
played in the fourth quarter with the game out of hand.
Boston won the game in the paint, outscoring New Jersey, 52-16.
"I think we were just a little tired tonight," said Kidd, whose
teammates beat Chicago less than 24 hours earlier. "They had a
big advantage in points in the paint. Boston was better than us