The Captain Is Just Fine, Drops 31 on NJN

Paul Pierce scored 31 points in an aggressive last performance before heading into the All-Star break. The captain, who went 0-10 last game and had an MRI on his ankle, connected on 10-13 attempts from the charity stripe and grabbed five boards in only a shade over 33 minutes.

"The Truth" got some support from "The Big Ticket," Kevin Garnett, who tallied 14 points and 10 rebounds. Ray Allen added 12 and my boy Luke Harangody dropped eight on the Nets.

Brook Lopez, Devin Harris, and Anthony Morrow did most of the work for New Jersey, scoring 18, 16, and 14 points respectively.

With some of the team preparing to travel to Los Angeles for All-Star Weekend and the rest preparing for vacation, the Celtics faced a typical trap game tonight against the Nets.

The Celtics jumped out to an early 25-10 lead, behind 10 points from Pierce in the first 11 minutes. However, the Nets battled their way back to tie the game, and eventually take a lead of their own.

Boston blew the 15 point lead, getting outscored 51-27 into the 3rd quarter. New Jersey hit it's first seven shots of the 2nd half. At that point, the Big Three took action into their own hands, making a 14-4 run to put the C's back ahead by one. When the buzzer rang for the end of the 3rd quarter, the scoreboard read 70-70.

The Nets hung in the game and actually led 78-77 with 6:18 left in regulation. Once again, Boston cracked down. Fast forward five minutes and New Jersey still had 78 points. Boston however, totaled 91. The C's 14-0 run secured the victory and gave Boston some serious momentum going into the All-Star break.

With the win, the Celts improve to 40-14, while the Nets fall to 17-40 and 0-9 against Atlantic Division opponents. After the break, Boston travels west to take on Golden State on Tuesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 10:30 p.m..