Johnson leads Nets to 114-98 win over Celtics
NEW YORK (AP) The Nets are hoping their hot play will carry over when they hit the road.
After going 12-11 at home to begin the season, Brooklyn's confidence remained high after concluding its three-game home stand. The Nets have been unstoppable on The Barclays Center's herringbone-patterned court since beating Philadelphia on Feb. 3
"We've been playing pretty good at home as a team," said Johnson, who was 10 of 16 from the floor and 6 of 8 beyond the arc. "We got great ball movement offensively.
"Guys really getting interior defense and making plays defensively. We're gang rebounding and just helping each other. It's been beautiful to watch and it's been beautiful to be a part of."
The Nets will try to maintain that momentum during the next five days on the road, where they are 13-20 on the season. They will open up a three-game trip at Dallas on Sunday and continue at New Orleans on Monday night before wrapping up Tuesday at Charlotte.
Former Celtic Paul Pierce had 14 points, and Andray Blatche and Jorge Gutierrez added 10 apiece for the Nets, who won their third straight game and ninth in the last 10 to move within 1 1/2 games behind the Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors, who lost a double overtime thriller at home against Oklahoma City when Kevin Durant hit a game-winning 3-pointer to finish with 51 points for the night.
Brooklyn moved within one game of the Chicago Bulls, who lost at Indiana, for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Pierce was in a celebratory mood late in the game during a stop in action, interacting with the crowd during a T-shirt toss.
"It's great that we're playing well at home. We know we can win at home, but the real challenge is how well we can play on the road, which is this three-game road trip," the veteran said.
"(It will be) a huge challenge for us knowing that each and every game is huge for us. That's something that we're going to have to take care of because come playoff time we may be starting out on the road."
With the score knotted at 45-all with 6:49 left in the second quarter, Brooklyn went on a 19-9 run capped by a pair of 3-pointers from Johnson and Deron Williams to end the half and pull away from the Celtics, who lost for the sixth time in their last seven games.
Boston coach Brad Stevens thought that trading baskets with the Nets during the first two quarters did them in.
"We weren't very good on the defensive end of the floor. When Avery Bradley started going off, we just accepted trading baskets instead of really getting stops," Stevens said.
Bradley scored 23 of his 28 points for the Celtics in the first half and Rajon Rondo had 12 points and 12 assists.
"The opportunities were there and I was able to knock down my shots," Bradley said. "Rondo was putting me in good positions to be able to make plays."
Johnson continued his hot shooting in third quarter by scoring 16 points, outscoring the Celtics during a two-minute stretch at the end of the quarter. Johnson made a lay-up and got fouled with 2:43 remaining, hitting a free throw on the 3-point play to extend the lead to 86-72. After a pair of misses by the Celtics, Gutierrez found Johnson for an open 3-pointer and then Johnson followed a Jeff Green basket by nailing another trey to make it 92-74 with 45.6 left.
Brooklyn has won 18 of its last 20 at home and improved to 29-10 since Jan. 1, tops in the East.
But they're still struggling on the road, something coach Jason Kidd knows they need to turn around to have success during the playoffs.
"You need to win on the road at some point to win a championship. For us, it's taking one game at a time and winning as many possible and see who we open up in the first round against, on the road or at home."
NOTES: Brooklyn's 11 straight home wins is the longest streak since they had 12 straight, Dec. 16, 2005, to Feb. 8, 2006. ... The Nets debuted an alternate gay, short-sleeve, V-neck home jersey with Brooklyn across the chest in blue lettering. They'll sport the new look during four more games at Barclays. ... Brooklyn dominated the Celtics in the paint, scoring a season-high 62 points. Their bench outscored Boston's 45-21.
Updated March 22, 2014
Daniel Jeremiah calls NFL Sunday to preview the NFL Draft and discuss what the New England Patriots will be looking to do starting Thursday night.
In hour 2 of NFL Sunday, we get more draft talk from Price and Dickerson. They discuss if the Pats will trade up or down at all or what they can get by staying put. Also, what does the RB position look like for New England? We hear from Daniel Jeremiah from the NFL Network and NFL.com and get his thoughts on the NFL draft and what the Patriots will do. Finally, the boys talk about the Greg Hardy situation in Dallas.
It's finally the week of the NFL Draft and the guys are psyched. They kick off the show discussing the release of the NFL schedule and how they expect the Pats to do against a relatively easy road for the Super Bowl champs. Greg and Chris talk about any difficult match-ups and if any teams in the AFC East can contend with the Patriots. Then the boys move on to the Draft and where the Pats may go. WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia joins the program to discuss his thoughts on the upcoming draft, the Pats needs and his ideas on why the Patriots may in fact trade up this season.
Greg Dickerson and John Tomase discuss the amazing season for the Celts and if they have any chance against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavs in a seven game series. If they do, HOW ... how do they get it done?
Brian "White Mamba" Scalabrine joins the guys to talk about the Celtics playoff push, the development of Marcus Smart and James Young, and the prospect of Brad Stevens leaving the Celtics for a college job.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
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Continued Red Sox talk on benching Victorino and the Red Sox pitching issues..and Sean's love for the band Poison.
Dale and Michael check in with the Red Sox manager John Farrell for his weekly take on all things Boston Red Sox.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
DJ, Naoko and Pete get into the huge week for the Bruins that saw the franchise move on from GM Peter Chiarelli. They discuss why that was done and if they agree. What does this mean for Claude? They talk about Claude and if he can exist here. If not, who would work in Boston? They also get into the NHL Draft Lottery last night and talk to ESPN Boston's Joey "National" McDonald live from Tampa, Florida.
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Michael, Jerry and Dale speak with draft guru Todd McShay of ESPN for some insight on what the Patriots might do in the upcoming draft.
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Mikey, Lenny, and Erin talk about the Sox 7-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Patriots Day and the Sox hold on first place in the AL East. Also, the Celtics trail the Cavs 1 Game to 0 in their 1st Round series and the 2015 Boston Marathon is in the books.
Mikey Adams, joined by Lenny Megliola and Chris Villani, talks about the Red Sox home opening win at Fenway and the Bruins fallout after missing the playoffs including the future of Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien.
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
Football fans and Fantasy Footballers know that there is NO Offseason in the NFL, so Jim and Pete are back with the first of a series of Fantasy Football Podcasts of the “NFL Draft variety.” Tune in and you’ll get an in depth analysis on Pete’s most first batch of scouting reports on this year’s crop of Rookie Targets. Jim and Pete kick it off with a lot of focus on a Runningback rich draft class, some of the top Wide Receiver talent and touch on the top Quarterbacks, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. Enjoy!
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