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Celtics' Smothering Defense Late Kills Nets' Chances for Upset

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Down to the Nets by as much as nine points in the third , the Celtics launched a smothering defense that held New Jersey to ten points in the fourth and turned what could have been a Nets upset into a late collapse.  The defense permitted the Celtics to achieve a 23 point turn around over the game's last 18 minutes including a 16-0 run.

The Nets went down by 15 in the first quarter, then tied the game at halftime before moving nine up halfway through the third.  Then, the Celtics turned it on and won going away. Paul Pierce led the way, finishing with 31 points.  The two other members of the Big Three, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett split 26.

For the Nets, It was Brook Lopez with 18 points but only 5 rebounds, Devin Harris with 16 points and five assists and Anthony Morrow with 16, including three for six from deep.