BOS@NJN 1.11.08

Celts Over Nets, 86-77

By: NBASCOUT / Special to

The Nets made a game effort of it, but in the end couldn\’t survive a horrible final period in going down to the visiting Boston Celtics, 86-77. While it was a far better showing than in previous encounters, the end result was still a loss. All the same, there were a few positives to be taken away from the contest.

First, the bad: Leading by five heading into the final stanza, the Nets grudgingly unraveled the rest of the way, going stone-cold dead from the floor. The Nets \”couldn\’t buy a basket.\” They were outscored by a whopping 23-9 in the final quarter, with three of the Nets\’ points a meaningless trey by Jason Kidd near the end.

Boston\’s reserves, led by PF Glen \”Big Baby\” Davis, deserve credit for turning it around for the Celtics late in the third to close the gap. They took complete control of the game to start the fourth. With a strong offensive and defensive showing, they set the stage for the balance of the starters to come in during the final minutes to close it out.*

While the Nets missed many free-throws, going only 9-of-24 (37.5%) from the line, you can\’t fault the free-throw shooting entirely for the loss. A poor showing from the line is expected from a few of the Nets\’ big men who compensate by overachieving in other areas. What wasn\’t expected was SF Richard Jefferson, who led the Nets with 17 good points, going only 4-of-8 from the charity stripe or, perhaps, SG Vince Carter missing all of his free throws (only a pair) during the third quarter. None the less, it was a team-loss!

The biggest upside to this game for New Jersey was that C/PF Josh Boone, who missed all six of his free throws, had another outstanding game that included 14 points (on 7-13 shooting), 16 boards and four blocked shots. His defense, rebounding and hustle kept New Jersey in it and gave them a chance to win.

It could be said that Josh Boone really came of age in this one against the league leaders – a team that only lost four games to date. Unfortunately, Rookie PF/C Sean Williams couldn\’t provide much in support as he had his hands full with Boston PF Kevin Garnett, and other green-clad Celtics, that put him in serious foul trouble much of the way. It obviously limited his play.

PG Jason Kidd, who played like an all-Star, fell an assist shy of another triple-double (11p, 13r, 9a). He gave his team a much-needed \’shot of adrenaline\’ early and kept them in it most of the way until the Celtics\’ surge in the final period.

On the other hand, star SG Vince Carter couldn\’t get untracked most of the night, scoring only 16 points on 7-of-20 from the floor to go with four assists. Still, the team played well enough to win if not for the dreadful Q4.

The real culprit was that the Nets shot only 37% for the game that included a miserable 3-of-19 in Q4. Most of the time, in a close match, that won\’t get it done.

The Nets (18-18) now play host to the blazing-hot Portland Trailblazers (22-13) who arrive Monday for an inter-conference game. Once again, YES Network will air the contest at 7:30pm EST.

Notes: PG Jason Kidd is reported to have been down with the flu whilst playing. He, apparently, needed an IV during halftime just to get him through [Where is Marcus when the Nets need him?]. SG Vince Carter was also reportedly suffering from a stomach virus that interfered with his play.

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2005-2008 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at

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