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Celtics bench helps record 30th victory

January 12, 2008|From the Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Boston Celtics' big three all had big games against the New Jersey Nets.

In the end, it was the Celtics' reserves that came up big in the fourth quarter in Boston's 86-77 win, the 30th of the season for the league's top team.

"We got down on the road and our starters needed some rest," Celtics Coach Doc Rivers said. "The bench was able to dig it out and get us the win. They were huge for us. Every game, we try to get our big guys rest because its a long season and were trying to give the bench more confidence."

Kevin Garnett had 20 points and 11 rebounds, Paul Pierce had 18 points and Ray Allen scored 16 as Boston (30-4) matched the 1959-60 champion Celtics for the best start in franchise history.

Boston scored 13 consecutive points without Garnett or Pierce on the court to take a 76-70 lead with 6:12 left. The Celtics had gone ahead for good at 71-70 on a fastbreak layup by Glen Davis.

After a Nets turnover, Eddie House had another fastbreak basket and Allen followed with a three-pointer to close the run.

"The defense started the offense and we did a good job all around," Davis said. "Our bench brought up the tempo in the fourth quarter and pumped up the energy. It was really big. . . . We stepped up at the right time."

Indiana Pacers center David Harrison was suspended for five games by the NBA for violating the league's anti-drug program. The suspension, which is without pay, will begin with today's game at Sacramento, the league said.

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