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After Rondo ejected, Nets beat Celtics 95-83

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After Rondo ejected, Nets beat Celtics 95-83

BOSTON (AP) Joe Johnson scored 18 points, Andray Blatche had 17 points and 13 rebounds, and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Boston Celtics 95-83 on Wednesday night after Rajon Rondo was ejected following a fight.

The Celtics point guard was tossed after he shoved Kris Humphries to retaliate for the Nets forward's hard foul against Kevin Garnett. Humphries and Brooklyn forward Gerald Wallace were also ejected for their roles in the second-quarter skirmish.

Garnett had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Paul Pierce added 14 points for Boston. Rondo had three assists before he was kicked out, ending his streak at 37 games with double-digits. That is tied for second-longest in NBA history.

The Nets led by 21 in the second half and never less than nine in the fourth quarter.

Brooklyn won for the ninth time in 11 games while snapping Boston's two-game win streak.

The Nets led by eight after one quarter and scored 19 of the first 25 points in the second to make it 47-26. Boston cut the deficit to 14 points and trailed by 16 when Garnett took an off-balance jumper from the right baseline and Humphries leveraged him to the floor with his left arm.

Rondo trailed the play with a two-handed shove that sent Humphries into the courtside seats, and Wallace soon entered the fray by shoving Garnett. While the rest of the players remained by their benches, coaches and officials tried to break up the skirmish.

The referees went to the scorer's table to watch the incident on replay, and their verdict was announced over the public address system: Two technical fouls for Humphries, one for Wallace - his second of the game, ending his night - and one for Garnett.

Rondo was simply ejected.

When the free throws were done, Boston trailed 51-38, and that's the way it went into the half.

Boston was unable to trim much more from the Nets' lead. The Celtics made it a nine-point game twice in the fourth quarter, but never really threatened to close the gap further.

Rondo's streak of 10 or more assists dated to March 11 of last season. That ties John Stockton for second-longest in NBA history. Magic Johnson holds the record at 46 consecutive games in the 1983-84 season.

Rondo has had a history of petulance, including a one-game suspension during the opening round of last year's playoff series against Atlanta after he chest-bumped referee Marc Davis while complaining about a call in the final minute of a Boston loss.

During the 2011-12 regular season, he was suspended for two games for throwing a ball at an official.

He has also come under criticism for selfishness this season for re-entering a 20-point loss to Detroit in the fourth quarter to keep his streak alive.

Notes: U.S. Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman was in attendance. ... Rivers said Nets coach Avery Johnson is one of his best friends. The two had dinner together on Tuesday night. ... Garnett tied John Havlicek for 18th on the NBA career list with 1,270 games played. ... Pierce passed Bob Pettit for 13th on the NBA's all-time list for free throws made with 6,183. ... Celtics F Jeff Green sprained his right knee in the second half but was able to return. Boston F Chris Wilcox left the game due to illness. ... The teams next meet on Christmas Day in Brooklyn. ... The Nets were playing their third game in four days.

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2018 MLB Power Rankings: All-Star update

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2018 MLB Power Rankings: All-Star update

The All-Star break is a perfect opportunity to sit down and re-evaluate the landscape of Major League Baseball. As it turns out, however, there aren't as many meaningful moves as one might expect.

The unrivaled dominance of the Astros, Red Sox, and Yankees sets us up for a wildly entertaining October, and the uber-talented rosters of the Indians, Cubs and Dodgers will make noise as well. Still, it means the top three (and, moving down, the next three to four teams) in our power rankings haven't experienced much variance in 2018.

The gap between the haves and the have-nots has never been more pronounced than it is in this era, which means the bottom-four teams have stayed pretty steady since May. Yes, the Reds have made a nice jump since Jim Riggleman took over, and the Orioles are about 15 spots lower than we had them in March, but none of the major moves will have any real impact on who we expect to win the World Series this year.

That doesn't mean it's not worthwhile to see where each team stands, however, and these are certainly still subject to change. The Nationals, for example, have enough talent and starpower on the roster to jump into the top six or seven teams as a legitimate title contender at some point.  

The stars are out in D.C. this week, as baseball converges onto the nation's capital. Are the hometown team's stars enough to keep the roster in the conversation for the playoffs? 

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