Nets road woes continue as Celtics win third in row

BOSTON (Reuters) - The Boston Celtics rebounded in the fourth quarter to beat the New Jersey Nets 96-87 on Friday and hand the NBA's worst team their 13th consecutive road loss.

The Nets held a one-point advantage going into the fourth quarter but the Celtics' Eddie House scored all 10 of his points in the final session as Boston ran out winners.

"That's our mentality. Feed the pig, whoever has it going," Rajon Rondo, who had 17 points and 11 assists, told reporters.

Coach Doc Rivers had put House, Glen Davis and Rasheed Wallace on the floor with Rondo and high scorer Ray Allen to ignite the Celtics. And it worked.

The unit went on a 14-4 run and had the game under control before starters Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins and Tony Allen returned.

House had Boston's first five points of the quarter to put the hosts up by two and they never trailed again. The reserve guard made it 84-77 with his second three-pointer and 10th point in six minutes.

Ray Allen scored a team-high 26 points as the Celtics recorded their third win in a row.

"We thought that we could just outscore them," Celtics coach Rivers said. "I didn't say much at halftime. I basically said, 'I don't think I need to talk. We're a defensive team and tonight we want to outscore them.' And I said, 'Good luck.'"

Still, the Boston defense remained lackluster until the fourth, according to Rasheed Wallace.

"We didn't pick it up probably until about the six or seven mark in the fourth," he said.

New Jersey's fifth consecutive loss meant they dropped to 4-45 for the season.

Brian Lopez had 19 points and Devin Harris 17 for the visitors, who could wind up with the NBA's worst record in a season. Philadelphia holds the record at 9-73 for the 1972-73 season.

"I expect a lot more out of myself," Lopez said. "It's tough going against them because they're so physical and talented."

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina. Editing by Patrick Johnston and Peter Rutherford)