In the Celtics first look at their nomadic divisional rivals on Tuesday night, they fell short 97-96.
Brooklyn sat out their entire starting five, and Boston will have to wait a couple days to test their mettle against Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez.
With the score tied at 96 a-piece, Micah Downs fouled Stephen Dennis with five seconds remaining. Dennis missed both free throws, but Boston was unable to corral the rebound and Rob Kurz was whistled for the loose-ball foul. Tornike Shengelia hit one free-throw, giving the Nets a one-point lead with 3.6 seconds on the clock.
The inbounds alley-oop to Downs was knocked out of bounds, giving the Celtics 1.3 seconds to score. Kris Joseph's attempt at the buzzer was off, leaving the final score at 97-96.
Largely battling the Nets' second unit, Paul Pierce put up 20 points in the first half, en route to his game-high 29 in just 27 minutes. The captain is clearly looking a lot more read...