BOSTON When the Big Three were at the top of their game, they absolutely dominated the New Jersey Nets.
Now that they're on the decline . . . nothing has really changed.
The Celtics delivered yet another all-too-predictable performance in defeating the New Jersey Nets, 10794. The 107 points scored equaled a season high scoring for the Celtics (at Miami, Dec. 27, 2011).
With the win, Boston (1817) has now won three in a row. In addition, it improved the C's record in the Big Three era to 162 against the Nets.
This was a game in which the Celtics were once again more short-handed than usual, when C's guard Ray Allen was too sick to play.
Any time a player is out for any reason, thoughts immediately turn toward that player being traded.
"The Ray rumors (of being traded) will start tomorrow," quipped Celtics coach Doc Rivers.
Replacing Allen in the starting lineup was Mickael Pietrus, who had 11 points and five rebounds most of which came in the first half.
As well as Pietrus played in filling in for Allen, it was Paul Pierce who set the Jersey beating in motion.
Pierce had morphed into the "professional scorer" that Rivers so often refers to his captain as being.
And the result was a gamehigh 27 points on an array of jumpers, 3-pointers and driving lay-ups. He also managed to dish out eight assists and grab four rebounds.
For the second straight game, Rajon Rondo managed to limit his opposing point guard's scoring production.
In Boston's win over Milwaukee on Wednesday, Brandon Jennings had six points none of which were scored with Rondo in the game.
And on Friday, fellow All-star Deron Williams was held below his scoring average. A 21.9 points-per-game scorer this season, Williams had 12 points on 4-for-9 shooting along with eight assists.
In addition to his defense, Rondo got it done offensively. He finished with his seventh double-double this season, tallying 14 points and 13 assists.
And the anchor to it all, Kevin Garnett, continues to keep Father Time tucked away far, far away. He had 20 points and 10 rebounds for his team-leading ninth double-double this season. It was his third time he has had at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in Boston's last four games.