The New Jersey Nets are a new team.
With Deron Williams back in the lineup after missing the last two games, the Nets battled to an 88-79 victory over the Eastern Conference leading Boston Celtics at the Prudential Center in Newark.
The Nets are now the proud owners of a five-game winning streak. This is the first time that New Jersey has won five in a row since the 2007-2008 season.
The Nets avoided a season sweep at the hand of the Celtics and snapped Boston’s streak of nine straight wins against the Nets in New Jersey.
Kris Humphries continues his streak of breakout games. He recorded his seventh straight double-double and 23rd this season with 16 points and 15 rebounds.
Williams added 16 points, nine assists and six rebounds. He also drilled the dagger three-pointer with 35.6 seconds remaining to cement New Jersey’s win.
Following a game in which they allowed a franchise low 56 points to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Celtics, especially Rajon Rondo, came out slow. However, a 14-0 Boston run closed out the first quarter with the Celtics up nine.
The Nets were able to keep the game within striking distance throughout the second quarter and only trailed by two at half.
A nine-point third quarter from Humphries played a role in giving the Nets the lead. Travis Outlaw began heating up from the outside, and back-to-back three pointers from Anthony Morrow and Sundiata Gaines closed out the third quarter with the Nets leading by six.
The Nets extended their lead to 12 early in the fourth. However, the Celtics showed why they are so tough. Boston cut the deficit down to two with two minutes to go.
A big hook shot from Brook Lopez and Williams’ three-pointer crushed Boston’s momentum and sealed the Nets 22nd win of the season.
Lopez finished with 20 points and has now scored at least 20 in seven straight games.
Glen “Big Baby” Davis posted a double-double off the bench for Boston with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Ray Allen scored 19, while Kevin Garnett knocked in 18.
New Jersey has another tough task ahead of them Thursday night against Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls. The Nets will look to keep their winning streak alive as they try to make a late postseason push.
The Nets are 5.5 games behind the Indiana Pacers for the eighth seed with 17 games to play.