NEW YORK (AP) — Avery Bradley scored 21 points, and the Boston Celtics snapped a three-game losing streak with an 89-81 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.
Tyler Zeller added 18 points for the Celtics, who won for just the second time in nine games by outplaying the Nets over the final three quarters after a slow start. They trailed by 11 in the first half but gradually pulled away after halftime despite shooting under 40 percent for the game.
Joe Johnson scored 17 points for the Nets, who dropped their third in a row and fell to 16-19. Mason Plumlee had 16 points and 12 rebounds but shot just 6 for 11 at the free-throw line.
Brooklyn point guard Deron Williams came on late in the first quarter after missing a game with a sore left side, but made it just 4 minutes before having to take himself out and didn’t return.
Brooklyn took an early 10-point lead and was ahead 25-19 after one quarter, but managed just 14 points on 5-of-18 shooting in the second. The Celtics, who trailed by 11 early in the period, scored the final eight points of the half to grab a 40-39 edge.
The Celtics pushed it to 69-62 after three and opened a series of double-digit leads in the fourth quarter. Their lead peaked at 82-68 on a dunk by Jae Crowder, who was all alone under the basket when the Nets appeared to be looking the other way.
Celtics: The Celtics improved to 3-0 on the road against Atlantic Division opponents, having won twice at Philadelphia. … With all 15 players on the roster basically healthy, coach Brad Stevens wrestled with who to make inactive before settling on veteran Jameer Nelson and rookie James Young. Young scored 13 points in 17 1/2 minutes off the bench Monday in a loss to Charlotte in his first extended playing time of the season, making it more difficult for Stevens.
Nets: Brooklyn hadn’t lost at home to Boston since Dec. 25, 2012, a nationally televised Christmas blowout just before Avery Johnson was fired. … With Williams barely able to play, the Nets gave Darius Morris 4 minutes to rest starter Jarrett Jack. Morris had two points and an assist.
Celtics: Visit Indiana on Friday.
Nets: Host Philadelphia on Friday.