Celtics seek more success against Nets

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(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Celtics hope their good fortunes in New York continue Tuesday night when they head to the Barclays Center to face a Brooklyn Nets team that might see some reinforcements.

The Nets could get a much-needed boost Tuesday night if both Deron Williams and Paul Pierce return. Williams has battled ankle injuries and was known to be close to returning, but Pierce was expected to miss at least two weeks. He hasn't quite been gone that long, but the Nets need them.

"I still have some pain in the hand, but it's something that's tolerable," said Pierce. "There's a good chance (I play Tuesday). Like I said, it felt good in practice. It didn't really get tested like I would like it to get tested where it was getting hit, but I thought I shot the ball really well, got up and down the court pretty good."

Pierce is officially a game-time decision.

The Nets ended a two-game losing streak Saturday night in Milwaukee with a 90-82 victory over the Bucks. It was their second straight road win, but the Nets have dropped six in a row at home and haven't won at the Barclays Center since Nov. 5 against the Utah Jazz.

Brook Lopez was dominant against the Bucks with 32 points on 11-for-13 shooting and 10-for-11 from the free-throw line.

"The big thing is Brook played a great game and let the ball come to him," said Brooklyn head coach Jason Kidd.

Joe Johnson added 15 for the Nets, followed by 13 from Alan Anderson and 11 off the bench for Andray Blatche. All nine Nets that played scored on Saturday.

The Celtics earned their third consecutive victory on Sunday afternoon with a 114-73 victory over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. The 73 points allowed were the lowest this season for the C's and the 114 points were the second-highest total.

"We played really well and they didn't play as well as they've been playing," explained Celtics coach Brad Stevens. "I've already learned in this league, you can be on the good end or the bad end of that and we were lucky today to be on the good end."

The Celtics shot 54 percent from the field, while they held the Knicks, who had won two straight prior to Sunday, to 34 percent shooting. Boston out- rebounded the Knicks 46-26 and jumped on the Knicks with a 34-11 first quarter.

Jordan Crawford led the Celtics with 23 points, followed by 21 from Jared Sullinger. Brandon Bass and Jeff Green both scored 16, while Avery Bradley finished with 13. Courtney Lee chipped in 10 points off the bench.

The Celtics play their next five at home.

The Nets won three of four from the Celtics last season, but Boston's lone victory in the series came in Brooklyn.