New Jersey 82, Boston 71

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Oct. 23 (AP) -- Bostjan Nachbar scored 15 points and Antoine Wright added 14 to pace a balanced scoring attack, leading the New Jersey Nets to an 82-71 victory over the Boston Celtics in a preseason game Tuesday night.

The Celtics were without all three of their All-Star players, as Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen did not dress for the game. None of the three are injured. Celtics coach Doc Rivers just decided to keep them out of the game and use only eight players for the contest, Boston's second in two nights.

Vince Carter scored 12 points and Richard Jefferson had 11 for the Nets. Neither played after the third quarter.

"Boston rested their three best players, so this showed us we have a long way to go,'' Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "But I don't want to downplay the effort of the guys out there in the fourth quarter. Boki (Nachbar) got us going and Antoine played with a lot of effort.''

Carter also had seven assists, seeing a lot of time at point guard with All-Star Jason Kidd not in the building while nursing a strained lower back and backup Darrell Armstrong sitting it out with a sore left ankle.

The Nets (3-1) led by as many as seven in the third quarter, but the Celtics tied the game in the early stages of the fourth, led by the play of rookie Glen "Big Baby'' Davis, a second round draft pick out of LSU.

Wright scored two straight baskets midway through the period to give the Nets the lead for good at 70-66.

Former Michigan State star Mateen Cleaves, trying to make the team, scored 10 points for the Nets in the fourth quarter, keeping the Celtics at bay.

Davis led all scorers with 21 points, 13 in the first half. Former Net Brian Scalabrine added 11 for the Celtics (3-3). The Celtics shot 32 percent from the floor on (23-of-70).


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