BOSTON (AP) -- Paul Pierce and Raef LaFrentz beat the New Jersey
Nets the same way they used to rough up opponents at the University
Pierce had 28 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his fifth
career triple-double, and LaFrentz added 21 points and eight
rebounds to lead the Boston Celtics to a 110-89 victory over the
Nets on Wednesday night.
"To get a triple-double through three quarters is pretty
impressive," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "You could tell early
on, his body chemistry and how he got everybody else involved that
he wanted this game."
Pierce had 14 points and four assists in the third quarter to
help the Celtics, 4-2 in their last six games, open an 87-58 lead
with 1:35 left in the quarter. Pierce and LaFrentz combined for 26
of the Celtics' 32 points in the period.
"When Raef and I played together in college, we always had good
chemistry," said Pierce, who teamed with LaFrentz at Kansas from
1995-98. "I try to find him on the court because he has good hands
and is a great finisher."
Gary Payton added 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting for the Celtics.
With the victory and Philadelphia's loss to Houston, Boston moved
back into first place in the Atlantic Division.
Jason Kidd had 25 points for New Jersey, which had its four-game
winning streak snapped. Vince Carter added 22 points and five
assists for the Nets. Kidd, Carter and Billy Thomas (13) were the
only players in double figures for New Jersey.
Carter ended his streak with three straight games of 30 or more
points, but has 39 assists in the last five games.
"They jumped on us early," Carter said. "Any time you get
down to a high-scoring team, it makes the hole that much deeper."
Boston outscored New Jersey 23-10 in the final 8:16 of the first
half to take a 55-39 lead. The Nets shot 5-of-24 from the floor in
the second quarter.
"We got outplayed tonight and allowed too many easy baskets,"
Nets coach Lawrence Frank said.
After hitting seven 3-pointers, Kidd made his only 2-point field
goal with 7:09 remaining in the third quarter. Kidd fell one short
of tying his career high of eight 3-pointers against Golden State
Stephon Marbury scored 30 or more points in five straight
games for New Jersey from Nov. 3-11, 2000. ... Over the last 11
games, Boston is 8-3 at home against New Jersey. ... The Nets are
10-11 since acquiring Carter. ... New Jersey was 9-of-17 on
3-pointers and is 25-of-46 in the last three games. ... Nets rookie
center Nenad Krstic was taken to the hospital after complaining of
shortness of breath. His X-rays and MRI were negative.