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All it took was a dose of the Atlantic Division, but it appears the Celtics are back in track after easily dispatching the Nets for their fourth straight victory, winning 105-85. The “C’s had a little trouble in sweeping the Raptors in back to back games, but they easily swept the Nets twice in a row, doing most of their damage against New Jersey’s starting five.
Ray Allen led the Celtics with 25 points on 8-12 shooting (3-7 from long distance). Rajon Rondo had a Jason Kidd-like game with eight points, nine rebounds, and a game-high 14 assists, and Kevin Garnett finished with a double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds) as the Celtics starters just plain destroyed the Nets.
The C’s starting five (including Brian Scalabrine at center instead of the injured Kendrick Perkins) all played at least 27 minutes, and all finished with +/- ratings of at least +22, meaning when the starting five was on the floor for the Celtics, the Nets were outscored by at least 22 points the whole game.
Conversely, Devin Harris and Vince Carter each played under 18 minutes, but were outscored by at least 28 points, which is horrible. Carter had his second straight poor game, finishing 2-8 from the field with just five points. Harris also did not show up, finshing 2-6 with seven points and one assist and three turnovers.
Brook Lopez was the lone bright spot for the Nets, finshing with a game-high 28 points on 12-17 shooting. He also pulled down 10 rebounds to complete the double-double. Jarvis Hayes pitched in 15 points off the bench as the only other Net in double figures.
The Celtics have Sunday off and will play host to the Phoenix Suns on Martin Luther King Day (Monday).