The Nets (30-30) lost to the Boston Celtics (21-41) by a score of 91-84.
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Brooklyn rallied in the third quarter, but the Celtics never relinquished their lead.
Shaun Livingston had a night to forget in one of his worst games of the season. He fouled out in the fourth quarter after going 0-of-6 from the field in 27 minutes.
Marcus Thornton had his first rough, off-target game in a Nets uniform, shooting just 1-of-9 from the field including 0-of-6 from behind the arc in 29 minutes.
For the second straight game, Paul Pierce suffered another scare with an apparent neck/shoulder stinger, but he was able to return to the game.
Joe Johnson had a team-high 21 points and seven rebounds.
Jon Presser, ContributorJoe Johnson and Paul Pierce kept the game from unraveling in the first half, as they combined for 21 of the Nets’ 41 points at halftime. Brooklyn also forced 13 Celtics turnovers to help keep it a 12-point game at the break.
Brooklyn was down by as many as 18 points early in the third quarter, but they were able to rally to cut it to a two-point deficit a few minutes later. However, they never got any closer than that, as they went ice cold from the field again in the final period.
The Nets were just thoroughly outplayed tonight, as Boston dominated the glass and found ways to exploit a Brooklyn defense that had been playing so stout of late. Tonight seemed like the first time the Nets really missed the injured Kevin Garnett.
In a wire-to-wire loss, the Nets missed out on an opportunity to make some headway in the Eastern Conference. With only 22 games remaining now, every game is crucial.
The Nets will try to bounce back on Sunday, when they come back home to the Barclays Center and host the Sacramento Kings. Game time is set for 6:00 pm.