Celtics never threaten as Nets win 101-93, Wallace injured

USA TODAY Sports

Gerald Wallace left the game with a heel contusion, but the Celtics never closed any ground as the Nets put them away.

Gerald Wallace isn't having a great season, but one thing he is doing well is keeping opposing SFs in check.

So when he left the TD Garden floor with a left heel contusion, Paul Pierce was no doubt licking his chops.

But Boston needed much more than Pierce's 23 points to match the Nets' big three of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez. Those three combined for 70 of the Nets' 101 points as Brooklyn dominated the Celtics on their home floor.

Williams was spectacular, scoring 29 on 9-18 shooting, going 10-10 from the line and adding 12 assists. His current play is a great sign for a Nets team whose playoff success will likely be determined by how far he can lead them.

Let's look at some other reasons why the Celtics were no match for the Nets tonight.

- Both teams shot well from the line, but the Nets made 12 more than the Celtics, going a sparkling 25-28.

- The Celtics starting frontcourt of Kevin Garnett, Jeff Green and Brandon Bass combined to shoot 14-39, leaving Pierce to fend for himself offensively.

- Johnson and Lopez, on the other hand, combined to shoot 16-29 and took advantage of mismatches against the undersized Celtics all night - providing Williams with the help he needed.

- The Nets had a great 2nd quarter, continued to play well in the 3rd quarter, and never allowed the run they have given up so many times in the 2nd half this season. They were consistent on both ends for the entire game - not something we've seen regularly, but another great sign with the playoffs approaching.

- Reggie Evans didn't miss a single shot. (OK. He didn't take one. But still!)

The Nets look good for the 4th spot in the East. As of right now, they would host the Chicago Bulls, who are tied with the Atlanta Hawks for the 5th seed but own the tiebreaker over the Hawks. The Celtics will almost assuredly be beginning the playoffs in Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks. (There is still an outside chance that the Indiana Pacers could pass the red-hot Knicks, in which case Boston would go to Indianapolis.)

For more on the Celtics, see: CelticsBlog

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