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Nets Shock the Celtics for Fifth Straight Win

With Deron Williams or without him, the Nets are a new team.

After a two-game absence, their new star was back at the Prudential Center on Monday to hit the biggest shot of the game in a huge 88-79 over the Celtics, keeping the team's winning streak, their longest since January of 2008, going.

And when the Nets and Bulls meet up in Newark on Thursday, it's possible the contest will be between the NBA's two hottest teams.  Only the Bulls have won more in a row than the Nets, with a six game winning streak going into Tuesday's gave vs. Washington. The Nets report fewer than 1,000 tickets are available for that game as the team goes for its third straight sellout.

The Celtics led by two after an ugly first half, but the Nets scored 31 points in the third quarter to go up six heading into the fourth. With Williams on the bench, they went up by as many as 12 with nine minutes to go. A 15-4 Celtics run cut the lead down to two with four minutes left, but Boston failed on three attempts to tie or take the lead. Brook Lopez put the Nets back up four with a hook shot and a possession later, Williams hit a three with 35 seconds left to put the game away.

The Nets shot just 40 percent from the field, but hit 11 of their 25 threes and turned the ball over just 10 times. Lopez led all scorers with 20 points on 9-for-16 shooting. Kris Humphries recorded his seventh straight double-double, and Williams finished with 16 points, six rebounds and nine assists.