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It was a relatively close game for much of the afternoon as the Celtics defeated the New Jersey Nets 100-93. No time at all was wasted as Yi Jianlian of the Nets committed the fist foul of the game just two seconds in on the scramble for the opening tip-off. Rasheed Wallace came into the game with 4:42 left in the 1st quarter, and similarly picked up his first foul six seconds in. Jianlian would get into another scrap with 3:41 left in the quarter, when he got into an argument with Kevin Garnett. Nothing came of it, thanks to Garnett quickly winning the battle of intimidation and Jianlian wanting nothing to do with him.
The Nets led 23-22 after the 1st quarter, and the Celtics led 47-46 at the half, with not much happening in between. The biggest lead of the game at the time was actually only six points for the Celtics. Each team was 15/35 (42.9%) on field goals, the Nets were 2/8 (25%) while the Celtics were 3/8 (37.5%) on three point shots, and the Nets were 14/16 (87.5%) on free throws while the Celtics were 14/18 (77.8%).
It was still quiet and close until the fourth quarter, when the Celtics scored nine in a row at one point to open up the first double-digit lead of the game. The Nets later fought back to a 96-91 deficit when, with 29.0 seconds left, a goaltending violation was called on Shelden Williams that shouldn’t have been, while J.R. Giddens was simultaneously called for a foul. Chris Douglas-Roberts fortunately missed the free throw, leaving the score at 96-93 in favor of the Celtics. From there, we saw the usual last minute jostling until the final score of 100-93 was tallied.
Pierce led the Celtics in field goals (eight), free throws (seven), and points (25), not to mention playing time (29:14). He was by far Boston’s biggest contributor.
In his 6:45 of game time, literally the only stat Jackie Moon could get was 0/1 on field goals. We’ve come to expect more from Scal, especially with a noticeable chunk of game time.
“It’s still preseason; we’re still trying to get better each day.” – Kevin Garnett, post-game, on the past, present, and future of the Celtics’ 2009 preseason.