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Playing without Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce, the Celtics looked like a shell of themselves for the first two quarters. The Nets took a 60-47 lead into the half, and it appeared the team would mail it in because it’s a preseason game. Who cares?
Rajon Rondo does.
Rondo played 40 minutes and led a Celtics comeback with 18 points and 13 assists and Rasheed Wallace added 20 points and nine rebounds as the C’s overcame a 13-point deficit at the half to win 91-88.
Rounding out the starters, Kendrick Perkins scored eight points and grabbed eight boards. Eddie House started at guard and finished with 14 points and five rebounds. Brian Scalabrine was the team’s starting power forward, and he finished with two points and three rebounds in 22 minutes.
The Celts received strong play off the bench, thanks in large part to Glen “Big Baby” Davis, who finished with 18 points, three steals, and two blocks. J.R. Giddens also played well, while he looks to grab a spot as the team’s backup point guard. Giddens finished with seven points and 13 rebounds.
Rookie Lester Hudson also saw some time off the bench, finishing with four points on 2-7 shooting. 16th man Michael Sweetney (meaning he won’t make the team unless someone gets hurt) was a healthy scratch.
Courtney Lee, acquired from Orlando in the Vince Carter trade, led the Nets with 21 points. Chris Douglas-Roberts also helped with 19 points, while Brook Lopez finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks.
Former Celtic Tony Battie finished with two points and two rebounds in 13 minutes.
The Celtics next take on the Raptors at “home” at the XL Center in Hartford, CT.