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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 28, 2010

Nets find big holes in Celtics' defense in surprising 104-96 win


Associated Press

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

New Jersey center Brook Lopez, who scored 25 points, takes a shot over Boston center Kendrick Perkins.

WINSLOW TOWNSON | Associated Press

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BOSTON The Boston Celtics haven't found a way to fix their defensive woes.

Center Brook Lopez scored 25 points, and guards Devin Harris and Courtney Lee added 23 and 21 points, respectively, as the New Jersey Nets topped the Celtics, 104-96, yesterday.

The Nets, who entered the game 5-52 and 2-27 on the road, took a 29-27 lead on Keyon Dooling's jumper at the end of the first quarter and never trailed again.

"Any win for us is big. There's no question," Nets coach Kiki Vandeweghe said. "But to get a win on the road, and this is one of the toughest places to play in the NBA just shows that it should demonstrate to our guys that if they play with effort, they can compete against anybody."

Kevin Garnett had 26 points and Marquis Daniels had 16 for the Celtics, playing their third straight game without Paul Pierce. The Celtics hope to get Pierce back for Tuesday's game against Detroit.

New Jersey took 41 free throws to the Celtics' 11.

"It shows that we were aggressive," Lopez said. "A lot of the season we've been settling for jump shots at very inopportune times. Tonight we were very assertive in trying to get to the basket and get the best possible shot we could."

Celtics coach Doc Rivers blamed his team for the free-throw disparity, saying "it was on us."

Rivers said one of the things he told his team yesterday, a day after a 108-88 loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers, was: "It ain't the system. It's our heads. It's between our ears. And we've got to come out and play."

Garnett said he was "disgusted" at the loss and said it came down to defense. "In this league you have to get stops, it's that simple. A team gets into a rhythm, and it's hard to turn it off."

BUCKS 94, HEAT 71

MIAMI John Salmons scored 18 points and the Bucks took advantage of injured Dwyane Wade's absence to win their sixth game in a row.

Milwaukee improved to 3-0 this season against Miami. Wade missed his fourth consecutive game because of a strained left calf and is doubtful for today's game at Southeast Division leader Orlando.

PACERS 100, BULLS 90

INDIANAPOLIS Danny Granger had 30 points and eight rebounds, and Indiana took a 54-47 halftime lead, not letting Chicago get closer than that in the second half.

Dahntay Jones and Troy Murphy each had 17 points, and Roy Hibbert had 12 for Indiana, which ended a three-game losing streak and won for just the second time in nine games to improve to 20-39.

GRIZZLIES 120, KNICKS 109

NEW YORK Zach Randolph had 31 points and a career-high 25 rebounds against his former team as Memphis beat New York to tie a franchise record with its fourth straight road victory.

Randolph made two free throws to break a 107-all tie with 3:45 remaining, starting a decisive 9-0 spurt.

TRAILBLAZERS 110, TIMBERWOLVES 91

MINNEAPOLIS Nicolas Batum scored a career-high 31 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 21, powering Portland to another easy victory over Minnesota.

The Blazers have won 12 straight over the Wolves, including four victories this season by a combined 93 points.

JAZZ 133, ROCKETS 110

SALT LAKE CITY Deron Williams scored 20 of his 35 points in the first quarter and Utah took a 70-59 halftime lead to roll past Houston, which got no closer thereafter.

Carlos Boozer, Paul Millsap and Wes Matthews each added 18 points and the Jazz made a season-best 14 3-pointers against the slumping Rockets.

WARRIORS 95, PISTONS 88

OAKLAND, Calif. Stephen Curry scored 27 points and Golden State used the hack-a-Ben strategy to finish its rally from a 14-point deficit in the second half to beat Detroit.

Golden State held Detroit without a field goal in the final 3:52, with the Pistons only point in that span coming on a free throw by Ben Wallace on one of three trips to the line after intentional fouls by the Warriors.

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