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Paul Pierce and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Boston Celtics, 82-80

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Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in his professional career, Paul Pierce lined up against the Boston Celtics. And, also, for the first time in his NBA career, Pierce beat the Celtics, with the Nets winning, 82-80, for their third victory of the preseason.

Pierce struggled early on, offensively, scoring his first points in the final seconds of the second quarter. He did, however, play some point-forward, recording five assists; all in the first half. He finished with four points on 1-of-6 shooting, with 10 rebounds and five dimes in 27 minutes.

On the other side of the ball, it was the return of MarShon Brooks, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries and Keith Bogans, who were all part of the summer blockbuster trade. None of the former Nets started in this one.

Wallace received a fairly warm welcome from the Brooklyn fans, while a spattering of boos broke out for Kris Humphries when he entered in the first quarter. Humphries played fairly well -- all things considered -- scoring 12 points with eight rebounds in 28 minutes. Wallace finished with four points and four rebounds in 26 minutes, while Brooks did absolutely nothing, playing just 2-plus minutes.

Andray Blatche started for the Nets, with Kevin Garnett sitting on night two of a back-to-back set. Blatche played alongside Brook Lopez, a front-court duo that wasn't much utilized last season. Blatche was fantastic, once again, recording 14 points six rebounds and four steals in 24 minutes. He and Lopez (20 points and 4 rebounds in 25 minutes) were highly effective as front-court mates. This may be a set coach Kidd runs out there if/when the Nets need a different look on offense, and of course it helped that KG was resting. But, you can't argue that this bigs combo isn't working, especially on the offensive end.

There's not much to read into this game, as Brooklyn was without Deron Williams, Jason Terry, Garnett, Andrei Kirilenko and Tyshawn Taylor, so once again the reserves were asked to do much of the heavy lifting. It was, in the most definitive way possible -- especially in the second half -- preseason basketball. Credit, though, the third unit, who finished the game against the Celtics starters.

Next up for the Nets, Thursday night at home against the Miami Heat. Jason Kidd will have his No. 5 jersey retired that night.

For more on the Celtics, see: Celtics Blog