The Nets pushed a 10-point halftime lead to 60-45 on Stackhouse's jumper from the right baseline before Boston started to get some production offensively — mainly from Pierce. After missing six of their initial seven shots in the second half, the Celtics relied on Pierce driving to the basket, where he converted a three-point play and was fouled, hitting five free throws that cut it to 70-62. He had 13 points in the quarter.
But Johnson followed with a 3 from the top, triggering a 7-2 spurt that helped the Nets to a 79-69 lead after three quarters.
The Celtics just had no answer for the penetrating, game-controlling Williams, who made key passes and continually found his way to the basket.
Boston sliced its deficit to nine three times in the opening 6 minutes of the final quarter, but after the last one Williams had a pair of baskets during a game-sealing 8-0 run that had many in the crowd heading for the exits.
Brooklyn hit six from beyond the 3-point line and shot 51.4 percent (19 of 27) in the opening half.
In the opening half, the Nets used a 15-4 run over a five-minute stretch late in the first quarter en route to a 22-21 edge after one. Johnson started the spree by nailing a fadeaway and following Brandon Bass' basket with a 3 from the wing. Boston missed six straight shots during Brooklyn's run.
Then they went on a 18-4 spurt late in the second, turning a two-point deficit into a 12-point lead before Pierce's driving basket in the closing seconds cut it to 53-43 at halftime. Williams had 11 in the quarter, 5 coming in the run.
NOTES: The teams hadn't played since Boston beat the Nets by 17 in Brooklyn on Christmas Day. "It's different," said Carlesimo, who took over two days after that game when Avery Johnson was fired. "They don't have Rondo and KG (Kevin Garnett) is just coming back." ... Garnett passed Hall of Famer John Stockton for sixth on the NBA's career list in minutes played. ... Pierce and Jason Terry both played their 1,100th career game and Brooklyn's Johnson played his 900th. ... It was the first of three straight on the road for the Nets. They play Indiana on Friday and Toronto Sunday before returning home for their final two games of the regular season. ... The Celtics are off until a matchup in Miami against the Heat on Friday. They play at Orlando on Saturday on Saturday night.
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