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Need to Know: The Nets shot 40.5 percent, barely avoiding shooting below 40 percent in three straight games for the first time since December 26-29, 2011.
Joe Johnson had 17 points and Mason Plumlee 16 to lead the Nets. Johnson shot 7-for-16, 1-for-7 from three, and Plumlee was an uncharacteristic 5-for-11. The Nets trailed 40-39 at halftime after a poor second quarter in which the Nets shot 5-for-18 and let the Celtics end the half on an 8-0 run.
Williams entered late in the first quarter and left early in the second. Jarrett Jack played 39 minutes, scoring 15 points with four assists and four turnovers.
Coach Lionel Hollins criticized Brook Lopez (six points, 2-for-7 shooting in 17 minutes) for not going after a loose ball that led to a backcourt violation. "He was just being lazy," Hollins said to reporters after the game.
Plumlee, who had 12 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season, was asked if the Nets were outhustled. "No question. Sad to say, but that's what's happened." (Newsday, Jan. 7).
The Nets have held their last six opponents under 100 points, the longest active streak in the NBA.
Before Tuesday, the Celtics had lost seven of nine since dealing Rajon Rondo to Dallas on Dec. 18. Boston, led by Avery Bradley (21 points), ended a four-game road losing streak following the trade.
What's Next: The Nets host the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday at 7:30 p.m.