Johnson leads Nets to 114-98 win over Celtics
Brooklyn Nets center Andray Blatche (0) dunks as forward Mirza Teletovic (33), Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo (9), and guard Avery Bradley (0) look on during the first half of an NBA basketball game at the Barclays Center, Friday, March 21, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Boston Celtics center Kris Humphries (43) fouls Brooklyn Nets forward Mason Plumlee (1) during the first half of an NBA basketball game at the Barclays Center, Friday, March 21, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green (8) dunks as Brooklyn Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko (47) looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game at the Barclays Center, Friday, March 21, 2014, in New York. The Nets defeated the Celtics, 114-98. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Brooklyn Nets forward Mason Plumlee (1) shoots over Boston Celtics forward Chris Johnson (12) and center Jared Sullinger (7), center, during the first half of an NBA basketball game at the Barclays Center, Friday, March 21, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
NEW YORK – Joe Johnson hit six 3-pointers on his way to 27 points, Mason Plumlee added 18 points, and the Brooklyn Nets won their 11th straight at home, beating the Boston Celtics, 114-98, last night.
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 remain within 2½ games behind the Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors. Brooklyn moved within one game of the Chicago Bulls, who lost at Indiana, for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Knotted at 45-all with 6:49 left in the second quarter, Brooklyn went on a 19-9 run to pull away from the Celtics, who lost for the sixth time in seven games. A 3-pointer by Johnson and another from Deron Williams gave the Nets a 64-54 lead going into the half.
Avery Bradley led Boston with 28 points and Rajon Rondo had 12 points and 12 assists.
Johnson continued his hot shooting beyond the arc by outscoring Boston 8-2 in the final minutes of the third quarter. The All-Star guard hit a pair of free throws that extended Brooklyn’s lead to 86-72, then with 1:20 left hit a 3-pointer that made it 89-72. After a basket by Jeff Green, he hit another 3 that extended the Nets’ lead to 92-74 with 45.6 seconds left in the quarter.
Brooklyn has won 18 of its last 20 games at the Barclays Center. They improved to 26-10 since Jan. 1, tops in the Eastern Conference since New Year’s Day.
∎ Before the game, Nets General Manager Billy King announced that center Brook Lopez had left ankle surgery on March 3. They expect him to be ready by June.
∎ Brooklyn’s 11 straight home wins is the longest streak since they had 12 straight, Dec. 16, 2005, to Feb. 8, 2006.
Knicks 93, 76ers 92
Amare Stoudemire had 22 points and 10 rebounds, Carmelo Anthony scored 21 and New York won its eighth straight game, sending the Sixers to their 23rd straight loss.
The Sixers have matched the Vancouver Grizzlies (1995-96), Denver Nuggets (1997-98) and Charlotte Bobcats (2011-12) for the second-longest single-season losing streak in NBA history.
Pacers 91, Bulls 79
Luis Scola had 19 points and Lance Stephenson finished with 15 to lead Indiana over Chicago.
The Pacers (51-18), who took a 13-game lead on the Bulls (38-31) in the Central Division, went on a 19-0 run in the third quarter.
Thunder 119, Raptors 118, 2OT
Kevin Durant had 51 points and 12 rebounds, All-Star guard Russell Westbrook limped off in the third quarter with a sprained right knee and Oklahoma City survived to beat Toronto in double overtime.
Durant hit a go-ahead 3 with 1.7 seconds left in the second overtime, Reggie Jackson scored 25 and Serge Ibaka had 13 as the Thunder won their fourth straight and finished off a 3-0 road trip that also included wins at Chicago and Cleveland.
Heat 91, Grizzlies 86
Ray Allen scored 18 points to lead Miami to a comeback victory over Memphis.
Miami rallied from an 84-77 deficit with 4:08 remaining and scored 11 unanswered points. Allen’s 3-pointer with 3:27 remaining began the comeback and Dwyane Wade’s jumper with 1:32 remaining tied at 84. Wade’s two free throws with 1:04 left gave the Heat their first lead since early in the third quarter.