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The Nets (3-1) defeated the Celtics (1-4) by a score of 82-80.

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[sny-box] Chris Johnson hit a pair of go-ahead free throws with seven seconds left in regulation that ended up being the game-winning points. The 23-year-old finished with 7 points in 24 minutes and was perfect from the free throw line.

With Kevin Garnett getting a scheduled day off, Andray Blatche got the start at power forward, and he played well. Blatche was 5-of-7 from the field, and he paired up nicely with Brook Lopez. The two combined for 34 points on 13-of-22 shooting, including 12-of-17 from the field in the first half.

Paul Pierce only had 4 points on 1-of-6 shooting in his first game against his former team, but he pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds, had 5 assists and was +8 for the night.

Lopez led the way with 20 points, and other than Blatche's 14 points, no other Net was in double figures.[/sny-box]

Coach Kidd stretched out the starters tonight, with Livingston playing 19 minutes, Blatche and Joe Johnson 24, Lopez 26 and Pierce 27 against his former team. All five starters had positive +/- ratings, including a team-best +10 from Joe Johnson.

Deron Williams (ankle), Jason Terry (knee) Andrei Kirilenko (back), Tyshawn Taylor (ankle) and Toko Shengelia (knee) were all inactive, which meant more minutes for Alan Anderson, Mirza Teletovic, Mason Plumlee and the aforementioned Chris Johnson. All of them had their moments, but I wouldn't say any of them had particularly good games. Anderson and Teletovic each shot just 20% from the field on 10 attempts, and no bench player had a positive +/- other than Gary Forbes, was +4 in 7 minutes of action.

The Nets actually trailed 63-62 entering the final period, but hit some timely shots to battle back and win their third preseason game in four tries. Considering they were down a ton of guys, it was nice to see the back-of-the-bench guys battle and come away with the win, especially in regulation.

Lopez and Blatche, as mentioned, look really good as a tandem. It's no surprise that two 7-footers would find success against a team like Boston that doesn't have any starters over 6'9. Nevertheless, their effectiveness stood out. Assumed to be the next man up at PF with Garnett resting, Reggie Evans only ended up playing 12 minutes, but, naturally, had 6 rebounds. 

The Nets will be back in action Thursday night, when they host the Miami Heat in a nationally-televised game at the Barclays Center that will feature the retirement of Jason Kidd's #5 jersey.

Tags: Nets
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