Saturday , Jan , 21 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Celtics, Nets closeout home-and-home set

=== Celtics, Nets closeout home-and-home set ===

(Sports Network) – The Boston Celtics and New Jersey Nets play the finale of a
home-and-home set tonight at Continental Airlines Arena.

On Friday, Paul Pierce poured in 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead
Boston past New Jersey, 99-96, at TD Banknorth Garden. Ricky Davis had 22
points and Delonte West netted 12 for the Celtics, who have won two straight

Kendrick Perkins added 11 points, while Al Jefferson finished with 10 points
and 10 boards in the win for Boston.

Jason Kidd had 24 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the loss for the
Nets, who had a two-game winning streak halted. Vince Carter ended with 20
points, while Clifford Robinson had 18 points and seven boards in defeat.

With the game tied in the final minutes, Perkins picked up an offensive
rebound and laid it in for the Celtics score. Perkins was also fouled on the
play, but missed the ensuing free throw.

After one free throw extended the Boston lead to two points, Jefferson was
fouled on a layup, but failed to convert the three-point play and the Celtics
enjoyed a 97-93 edge with 1:25 to go in the game.

New Jersey then closed within one point with 38.1 seconds left as Kidd hit a
three-pointer. Kidd was actually fouled by Pierce on the play, but the four-
point play was not meant to be as the free throw was short.

Davis then missed a jumper with 20 seconds remaining and the Nets grabbed the
rebound where they quickly called timeout.

Carter’s running hook shot with 4.5 seconds to go was off the mark and Davis
grabbed the loose ball where he was immediately fouled. Davis made both shots
to widen the lead to 99-96 with 3.1 seconds left and Carter’s desperation
three-pointer was off the mark as time expired.

The Nets, who have won seven in a row at the Meadowlands, are 11-6 as the host
this season, while the Celtics, who have dropped two straight as the visitor,
are 4-15 on the road.

Boston has lost two straight and five of its last six at New Jersey.

New Jersey is in first place in the Atlantic Division. They lead the second
place Philadelphia 76ers by three games, while Boston is in third place and
trails the Nets by six games.