By Ben Golliver
Gerald Wallace's attempt to snap his Nets out of a lifeless Christmas Day effort proved to be both ungentlemanly and ineffective.
The Celtics defeated the Nets 93-76 at the Barclays Center, strangling the Nets' offense throughout in holding Brooklyn to fewer than 20 points in the second, third and fourth quarters. With Boston holding a double-digit lead and maintaining firm control of the game's tempo, Wallace decided to take matters, and Kevin Garnett's shorts, into his own hands.
Wallace and Garnett mixed it up a bit with 9:31 remaining in the fourth quarter and Boston leading 77-60. Wallace missed an offensive rebound put-back attempt but drew free throws, and he and Garnett got tangled up after the foul. As the two tugged, Wallace kept hold of Garnett's shorts, pulling them up in what would seem to be uncomfortable fashion. Garnett took exception and tried to release himself from Wallace's grasp before Nets forward Andray Blatche and referee Zach Zarba entered to separate the two. Upon video review, Wallace and Garnett received double technicals, as did Blatche and Celtics guard Courtney Lee.
The Nets briefly made a fourth-quarter run -- thanks in large part to Wallace, who had 10 of Brooklyn's 18 points in the final period -- but it wasn't enough to catch the cruising Celtics. Rajon Rondo led Boston with 19 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals, and rookie Jared Sullinger added 16 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Wallace finished with 15 point, six rebounds and three steals. Nets center Brook Lopez chipped in 15 points and eight rebounds.Last month
, the Nets and Celtics got into a skirmish that carried into the TD Garden stands and resulted in multiple ejections and a two-game suspension for Rondo.