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Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Celtics 93, Nets 76

By Mike Mazzeo

WHAT IT MEANS: The Brooklyn Nets, playing on Christmas for the first time in a decade, were blown out of their $1 billion building by the Boston Celtics, 93-76.

They are now 3-9 in December. On Tuesday afternoon, the Nets (14-13) trailed by as many as 21 points, committed a season-high=tying 20 turnovers and went 17-for-29 from the free throw stripe.

Offensively (40.6 percent) they were extremely inconsistent, often abandoning their motion sets for isolation plays.

KG-WALLACE PART II: For a second straight game, Kevin Garnett and Gerald Wallace (15 points, six rebounds, three steals) got tangled up. This time, Wallace grabbed KG’s jersey to brace himself as he was falling away from the play after getting an offensive rebound with 9:31 left in the fourth quarter. KG took umbrage and pushed Wallace’s hand off his jersey. Andray Blatche and Courtney Lee exchanged words. All four players involved were called for technicals, which offset.

POINT GUARD PROBLEMS: Deron Williams appeared to be favoring his right hand/wrist after banging it on two occasions. He finished with just 10 points, six assists and four turnovers, while counterpart Rajon Rondo torched the Nets for 19 points and five assists.

ISO JOE: Joe Johnson, who had been averaging 20.7 points in his previous seven games, was held to just 12 points in this one on 4-for-14 shooting. Brook Lopez had nine points in the first quarter but just six the rest of the way. Lopez also had eight rebounds.

SECOND WAS A MESS: The Nets were outscored 34-18 in the second quarter. They shot 36.8 percent in the quarter and allowed the Celtics to go on a 17-2 run.

COMEBACK TRAIL: Down 64-43 in the third quarter, the Nets used a 15-2 run to get within eight. But the Celtics closed on a 7-0 spurt to lead 73-58 heading into the fourth quarter.

NO HUMP: Kris Humphries missed the game with a strained abdominal muscle. He’ll also miss Wednesday night’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks before being re-evaluated.

FIRST CHRISTMAS: Jerry Stackhouse appeared in 948 games over 17 seasons before playing in his first Christmas contest. The 38-year-old provided a spark off the bench, scoring seven points in 16 minutes.

UP NEXT: Nets at Bucks on Wednesday night.