Don't look now, but one of the hottest teams in the NBA currently plays in Newark, New Jersey. For the first time in more than three years, the New Jersey Nets have won five in a row after taking down the Eastern Conference's best team, the Boston Celtics 88-79 at the Prudential Center. It was the first time New Jersey beat Boston in four tries this season, though it's the first time they've met since the Deron Williams trade.
The Nets trailed by nine after scoring just 14 points in the first quarter, but just by two at halftime. Following a 31 point third, New Jersey found themselves holding a six point lead going into the fourth quarter. The game looked well in hand as the reserves put the Nets up by 12 with nine minutes left in the game, but the Celtics turned it on and trimmed the gap to just two in the final four minutes.
A perfect entry pass from Williams to Brook Lopez led to an easy hook shot from the center to put New Jersey up four. Williams followed with a basket of his own, this time a three on an in bounds play with 35 seconds remaining to seal the deal for the Nets.
Lopez continued to lead the way for New Jersey, scoring a game-high 20 points. Williams had 16 points and nine assists, the first time since the trade to the Nets that the point guard didn't record a double-double. Kris Humphries did chip in a double-double, with 16 points and a game-high 15 rebounds as he continues to prove himself as a threat around the basket.
Anthony Morrow had 15 just days after the death of his grandmother.
Ray Allen scored 19 for the Celtics in defeat, while Kevin Garnett had 18 and Glen Davis had 16 points and 14 rebounds off the bench.
It is just the first time in ten attempts that the Nets were able to beat the Celtics in New Jersey.
Next up for the resurgent Nets are the Chicago Bulls on Thursday at the Prudential Center.