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Final: Celtics 93, Nets 76

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff  December 25, 2012 12:10 PM

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Final, Celtics 93-76: The Celtics provide a nice Christmas gift for their fans, perhaps their best performance of the season. The Celtics led for the final 32 minutes of the game with Rajon Rondo leading the way with 19 points and Jared Sullinger with 16 and seven rebounds. The Celtics didn't need major nights from Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. They scored 8 apiece.

Fourth quarter, 5:17, Celtics 84-70: Things got physical quickly after mixups between Gerald Wallace and Kevin Garnett and then a flagrant foul on Jared Sullinger on Wallace. The Nets have scored the last 5 points to remain slightly hopeful of a rally but the Celtics could seal it with a couple of more hoops. The Celtics are shooting 49 percent and have committed just 10 turnovers.

Fourth quarter, 7:31, Celtics 82-64: The Celtics are trying to seal this game as Jared Sullinger continues to play his best game of the season with 16 points and seven rebounds in 27 minutes. He is playing well with the first team and it wouldn't be shocking to see Doc Rivers change up his starting lineup to include Sullinger in coming games.

End of third quarter, Celtics 73-58: We've seen everything today as Rajon Rondo raced down the court on a fastbreak and launched a 3-pointer that swished the net, stopping a big Nets run and giving the Celtics a more comfortable lead to end the period. Rondo has 19 points and four assists while Jared Sullinger has 12 points and seven rebounds off the bench.

Third quarter, 1:13, Celtics 68-58: The Nets are on a 15-4 run to make this game interesting again as the Celtics continue to miss easy shots while Joe Johnson has gotten hot, including a 30-footer off the glass as the 24-second shot clock expired.

Third quarter, 6:30, Celtics 64-47: The Celtics have led by as many as 21 but are still waiting for the flurry from the Nets, who have scored the last 4 points. The Celtics are led by Rajon Rondo, who has 14 points and Jared Sullinger who has 10. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett each have 8 points.

Third quarter, 8:39, Celtics 58-42: Boston missed its first four shots of the half, including a couple of chip shots but Brooklyn has yet to score. The Celtics need to jump on the Nets before they get going.

Halftime, Celtics 56-42: The Celtics mixed a strong defense with an efficient offense and played one of their better quarters in recent memory, shooting 13-for-21 in the quarter and holding the Nets to 18 points in the period on 7-for-19 shooting. Jared Sullinger has been stellar so far with 10 points and six rebounds in 17 minutes while Rajon Rondo has 10 points and three assists. Brook Lopez leads Brooklyn with 10 points while Jerry Stackhouse has 7.

Second quarter, 3:56, Celtics 49-34: Boston is on a 27-8 run, led by stellar defense against the Nets perimeter players and attacking defense against Brook Lopez. Jared Sullinger has helped out big time with 7 points while Jason Terry just hit his second 3-pointer of the game after going 1-for-15 against the Bucks.

Second quarter, 8:26, Celtics 32-29: When they are not allowing Jerry Stackhouse to go North Carolina 1995 on them, the Celtics are playing pretty well. They are on a 10-3 run and are finally defending Brook Lopez with another defender so he won't have his way inside. Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger have combined for 11 points.

End of first quarter, Nets 24-22: With no big man to defend Brook Lopez, the Nets are going to their center nearly every time. He has a game-high 9 points while no other Net has more than 3. Rajon Rondo, who drained a 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds left in the quarter, has 7 points and two assists for the Celtics. Paul Pierce did not score in the quarter.

First quarter, 2:37, Nets 18-16: The Celtics are playing decent defense but need to start producing on the offensive side. And they are letting Brook Lopez have his way in the paint. With Jason Collins already with two fouls, Jared Sullinger is now playing center. The Celtics need a big man who can stay on the floor.

First quarter, 5:53, Nets 12-10: The Celtics are playing solid defense but keep fouling. Brook Lopez is having his way with Jason Collins in the paint and Collins already has two fouls. So we will see newcomer Jarvis Varnado soon.

First quarter, 6:50, Nets 11-6: The Celtics scored the game's first 4 points and looked to make a statement but the Nets have responded with a three-point play from Deron Williams and 3-pointers from Keith Bogans and Joe Johnson. The Celtics are 3-for-12 shooting and are again missing layups.

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