Celtics

Celtics pull away from Nets in second half, 89-70

630168.jpg

Celtics pull away from Nets in second half, 89-70

BOSTON We've seen plenty of times when bad teams like New Jersey bring out the worst in the Boston Celtics.

But even a bad-playing Celtics squad was better than the injury-riddled Nets as Boston pulled away in the second half for an 89-70 win.

The Celtics (4-3) have now won four straight, a streak that began with the return of Paul Pierce to the lineup following a right heel injury.

And Pierce, who readily admits he's not in great basketball shape, is very much rounding into the kind of form the C's need from him.

Wednesday was another step in that direction, as Pierce poured in 24 points along with six rebounds and five assists.

He wasn't the only standout performer for Boston, as they played without Ray Allen (cold) for the first time this season. Filling in for Allen was Keyon Dooling, who had five points and an assist.

Brandon Bass continues to play a vital role off the bench, scoring 15 points to go with 13 rebounds for his second double-double this season.

The final score was indicative of how close the action was on Wednesday. At the half, Boston trailed 35-34.

After Nets center Mehmet Okur tied the game at 40, the C's closed out the third with a 23-7 run.

From there, the C's continued to have their way with the Nets (1-6) who were led by former Providence star and Celtics draft pick (he was traded to the Nets on draft night) MarShon Brooks. He had 17 points for New Jersey.

The Nets were noticeably short-handed, as they played without Deron Williams (ribs), Brook Lopez (foot) and Kris Humprhies (shoulder).

Agent says Gordon Hayward is unlikely to return this season

Agent says Gordon Hayward is unlikely to return this season

Hopes that the Celtics would have Gordon Hayward back in the lineup later this year were dashed last night by Hayward's agent, Mark Bartelstein.

Hayward underwent surgery Wednesday night for a fractured and dislocated left tibia, and Celtics coach Brad Stevens had said earlier in the day that Hayward's prognosis would be better known after doctors saw the extent of the damage. When the operation was over, Bartelstein told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski not to expect Hayward to play again this season.

But there is good news:

MORE:

“We’re expecting this to be a full recovery,” Stevens had said earlier. “No timeline on it, but a full recovery.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics drop back-to-back games

best_of_bst_podcast.jpg

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics drop back-to-back games

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their thoughts on Kyrie Irving’s struggles, not having Gordon Hayward, and the Celtics losing for the 2nd time in as many nights.

6:31 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins BST to discuss the message delivered by Hayward to the fans before the game, what was going on with Kyrie’s shot, and why they failed in stopping The Greek Freak.

10:33 - Albert Breer joins BST to preview the Falcons/Patriots Sunday night game and if Atlanta is in the middle of a Super Bowl hangover.

15:40 - In a new game called On The Clock, each person gets 40 seconds to rant on their selected subject including if Red Sox fans can root for the Yankees if the playoffs and how painful the Bruins season will be. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE