Krstic, Planinic Help Nets Hold Off Celtics
New Jersey 95, Boston 93
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., April 16 (Ticker) -- New Jersey Nets coach Lawrence Frank got just enough from his bench.
Nenad Krstic scored 18 points and Zoran Planinic added 11 of his 13 in the fourth quarter as the Nets held on for a 95-93 victory over the Boston Celtics.
"You want to win the game. Even if it's a preseason game you want to win it," Frank said. "The guys on the floor, they want to win it. I think we'd be doing a disservice to the guys on the floor if we didn't do what it took to win it.
"I think competitive nature always takes over and you are not going to do anything like send Vince (Carter), Jason (Kidd) or Richard (Jefferson) back in there. But those guys fought hard."
Planinic and Jacque Vaughn, who scored five of his eight points in the fourth quarter, were the Nets' best players on the court in the final period. Vaughn split a pair of free throws with six seconds left for a 95-93 lead.
After Vaughn missed his second attempt, the Celtics were without a timeout and were unable to get off a final shot when rookie Orien Greene lost his dribble.
Krstic made 9-of-13 shots and Jefferson added 15 points for New Jersey, which took the lead for good midway through the first quarter.
New Jersey needs one win in its final two games to reach 50.
"It's there for us to attain," said Kidd, who had seven points and five assists. "We're trying to finish off the season on a positive note without getting anyone hurt."
"Our goal is to try to play well early and give the reserves the opportunity to get minutes," said Carter, who had 13 points and nine rebounds in 32 minutes. "We want them to be ready in case we need them in the playoffs."
Rookie Gerald Green scored 19 points and Kendrick Perkins had 16 and nine rebounds for the Celtics (32-48), who were without leading-scorer Paul Pierce (elbow).
"I was really happy with our young guys," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "I was really using it (the game) to try to teach execution to the young guys."