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Nets Slow Celtics, But Can't Finish the Job as Shaq Dominates

Once again, the Nets played tough against a strong opponent. And once again, they came up just a little bit short, falling to 5-10 with a 89-83 loss in Boston on Wednesday night.

The Nets held the Celtics to 38 points in the first half and led by 10 points after the first possession of the third quarter. But while Boston didn't exactly turn it on offensively, the Nets scored just 19 points over the next 18-plus minutes.

When Jordan Farmar ended the drought with 5:35 to go in the fourth, the Nets were down just two, but Devin Harris missed a contested jumper on their one opportunity to get the lead back and Paul Pierce put them away in the final minutes.

The Nets shot 46 percent from the field, but made just four of their 14 threes and turned the ball over 18 times. Harris led the Nets with 20 points on 6-for-10 from the field and Anthony Morrow added 18 on 7-for-11. Brook Lopez finished with 16 points, but shot just 5-for-14 from the field. On the other end of the floor, the Nets couldn't stop Shaquille O'Neal, who made nine of his 10 shots and led all scorers with 25 points.