User ID
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Betting Tools

Nets down Celtics for 4th straight win

New customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

NEW YORK (AP) - Joe Johnson made the tiebreaking basket with 3:03 left, Deron Williams and Brook Lopez each scored 24 points, and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Boston Celtics 102-97 on Thursday night for their fourth straight victory.

Williams had eight assists and made all nine free throws on a night Paul Pierce had two huge misses in the final minute for the Celtics, who played without injured point guard Rajon Rondo.

Johnson finished with 19 points and eight rebounds for the Nets in front of a sold-out crowd of 17,732 that was divided but certainly loud in the tense, final minutes.

Pierce scored 22 points and Leandro Barbosa had 17 in place of Rondo, who was out with a sprained right ankle. Kevin Garnett added 14 points but Boston had its three-game win streak snapped and lost to the Nets for just the third time in the last 21 meetings.

Boston led 79-74 after three before the Nets evened it up at 85 on Jerry Stackhouse's 3-pointer with 6:21 to play. It was still tied before Johnson made consecutive jumpers and Lopez scored on a follow shot for a six-point lead, and the Celtics could never catch up - especially when Pierce missed two free throws with 34.5 seconds left and Boston trailing by three.

Rondo was hurt in the third quarter Wednesday night in a home victory over Utah. Without the NBA leader in assists, averaging 12.6, coach Doc Rivers said the playbook would be reduced because Barbosa didn't fully know the offense yet.

But the speedy Brazilian created for himself just fine, blowing by defenders for layups though finishing with just two assists.

Nets coach Avery Johnson said the Nets needed a breakthrough against a quality opponent such as Boston and was interested to see how far his team had come since the Celtics smashed them 115-85 here in the preseason, a night he felt the longtime Atlantic Division rulers were trying to send a message to his team.

The Nets have definitely closed the gap.

They had led by 20 or more in their last three home games and opened a 13-point cushion early in the third quarter of this one. But Pierce, who had a quiet six-point first half, suddenly got going midway through the period with a 3-pointer and basket as the Celtics fans - still noticeable around the arena though not nearly to the extent as when the Nets played in New Jersey - became more vocal.

When he picked up his fourth foul and Rivers sent Jeff Green to the table to check in for him, Pierce pleaded to stay, Rivers agreed, and Pierce made the gamble pay off with consecutive baskets that gave Boston a 73-71 lead.

The Nets shot out to a quick 11-point lead that was trimmed to 31-26 after one quarter. Brooklyn kept its lead throughout the second quarter, using 15 offensive rebounds in the first half to score 19 second-chance points and build a 59-50 advantage.

NOTES: The Nets made their first regular-season appearance on TNT since Jan. 24, 2008, against Golden State. Marv Albert, who is from Brooklyn and worked for the Dodgers when he was young before later calling games for both the Knicks and the Nets, was the lead announcer. ... Lopez came in averaging 8.2 points in the first quarter and shooting 69.7 percent. He shot 5 of 7 Thursday.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2015
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

Rogers: Tuesday's Tip Sheet
Jordan has 24 boards, Clips top Blazers
Boogie scores 31, Kings down Mavs 112-98
Warriors win 19th straight, hold off Jazz
Hornets C Al Jefferson out 2-3 weeks
Gasol propels Bulls past Spurs, 92-89
Millsap, Teague leads Hawks past OKC
Wolves expect Rubio to play Tuesday
Bryant kicks off goodbye tour in Philly
Why Buy Picks From
NBA Pro Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NBA Hot Streaks
9-3 L12, 43-22 L65, +1,688 TY
9-3 L12 Picks, 7-2 L9 G-Plays
4-1 L2 Days, 7-1 Guarantee Run
4 Straight Winners, 10-4 TY
11-5 Record Last 16 Picks
6-2 L8, 20-10 L30, 31-17 L48
10-4 Record This Season
6-3 L9, 10-5 L15, 13-6 L19 Picks
7-2 L9 Guaranteed Plays
4-0 NBA Win Streak
2-0 Saturday, 5-1 L6 Days
7-3 NBA This Season
3-0 L3 G-Plays, 6-2 L8 Picks
NBA Pro Basketball Expert Sports Picks - Chip Chirimbes
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 1888
Bruce Marshall + 723
Paul Bovi + 680
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 666
Bruce Marshall + 640
Antony Dinero + 600
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Paul Bovi 73 %
Joe Nelson 71 %
Chip Chirimbes 64 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 650
Kevin Rogers + 494
Paul Bovi + 380
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kyle Hunter + 488
Vince Akins + 466
Andy Iskoe + 400
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 740
The Gold Sheet + 499
Joe Nelson + 400
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership