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Final: Brooklyn Nets edge Boston Celtics 102-97

With Rajon Rondo out, the Nets win their 4th straight against a game Celtics squad.

Bruce Bennett

The Nets' 3rd quarter woes continued, but they summoned a decisive 4th quarter surge and edged the shorthanded Celtics 102-97 tonight in Brooklyn. The win was described as a "signature" or "breakthrough" win for the Brooklyn team.

Deron Williams had 24 points and 8 assists and Brook Lopez added 24 points, 6 rebounds and 4 blocks to lead the Nets to their 4th straight victory.

The Celtics, playing without league assist leader Rajon Rondo, looked shaky on offense at first - but settled down to shoot 55% in the first half. The Nets countered with a 15-offensive rebound onslaught and took a 9 point lead into halftime.

The 3rd quarter proved difficult once again for the Nets, as the bench provided poor shooting and the rebounding advantage dried up. The Celtics outscored them 29-15 and jumped out to a 5 point advantage to begin the final quarter.

Down the stretch, however, the Nets got hot. Joe Johnson sparked a 13-2 run that gave the Nets a lead they would never relinquish. Johnson finished with 19 points after struggling with his shot for most of the game.

The win moved the Nets to 5-2 and the Celtics to 4-4 on the season.

“It was a fantastic environment to play in,” said Lopez. “The crowd really brought it tonight. ... They were there for us at the end of the game. And, then, my teammates played the way they are capable of.”

Quick Notes:

- Avery Johnson used an interesting strategy at the end of the game. With the Nets up 99-95 with 19 seconds remaining, Joe Johnson intentionally fouled Paul Pierce. Pierce made both FT. Ahead 101-97, the Nets intentionally fouled again - with Jason Terry missing both FT. Deron Williams made two more and essentially ended the game. Johnson explained he was trying to prevent the Celtics from making three point plays. "It’s a coaching decision. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.”

- Keith Bogans was called for a flagrant foul in the 2nd quarter, only to have it reversed when the refs determined he was trying to hold Leandro Barbosa up and not choke him out as it originally appeared.

- The Nets' bench ("Bench Mobb"??) were playing strong coming into this one, but they went 8-23 for 20 points tonight.

- Gerald Wallace missed his 6th straight game with a sprained ankle.

- This marked the Nets' first four game winning streak since they won their 5th straight on March 14, 2011 in their most recent victory against -- the Celtics. (Admit it, you thought it was longer!)

Final - 11.15.2012 1 2 3 4 Total
Boston Celtics 26 24 29 18 97
Brooklyn Nets 31 28 15 28 102

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