EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Paul Pierce scored 24 points in 28 minutes and the Boston Celtics quickly turned a mismatch on paper into just that on the court, beating the New Jersey Nets 111-87 on Wednesday night.

Ray Allen added 15 points and Rajon Rondo had 11 points and 14 assists for the Celtics, who are playing without All-Star Kevin Garnett (right knee) and reserve Rasheed Wallace (sore left foot), but would’ve had to rest a few more guys to make this a fair fight.

Boston made 10 of its first 11 shots and barely slowed up from there, building a 36-point lead during its highest-scoring first half of the season and cruising to its 11th straight victory over the Nets (3-35).

Yi Jianlian scored 19 points and Brook Lopez had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets, who lost their sixth straight and were as far away from the Celtics on the court as they are in the standings.

Boston had struggled lately, mostly without Garnett, and lost five of eight. The Celtics were back in their dominant form in this one, giving their starters plenty of time to rest before a game Thursday against Chicago, the team that pushed them to seven games in a thrilling first-round series last season.

The Celtics already had 20 points by the midway point of the first quarter and went nearly five minutes between their first and second missed shots, both by Brian Scalabrine, who is starting for Garnett. Boston didn’t have a player other than Scalabrine miss until Glen Davis was off on a layup with 2:35 left in the period.

Boston led 38-22 after one, and the second quarter was even more lopsided. A sensational alley-oop from Pierce to Tony Allen, who soared in from the baseline to catch the high pass to slam it down, was the highlight of the Celtics’ 14-of-20 shooting effort. Meanwhile, New Jersey was 3 of 17 (18 percent) in the period.

Pierce appeared to land awkwardly after he was fouled with 5:55 left, but he stayed in to make the free throws, then nailed a 3-pointer that made it 55-27. Ray Allen was left all alone for a layup off an inbound pass as time expired, giving the Celtics a fifth double-figure scorer and a 71-35 bulge.

Boston put seven players in double figures and shot 53 percent, even forcing New Jersey to spend a timeout with less than 2 minutes left after a flurry of dunks and layups.

NOTES: Celtics coach Doc Rivers was fined $25,000 by the NBA for an argument with officials that led to two quick technicals and an ejection in a loss to Atlanta on Monday. Rivers said the league called him and told him the ruling on the court was incorrect. “They admit that the … call was wrong,” Rivers said. “Of all the fines I’ve ever had, this is by far the most disappointing. I just don’t get this one. I watched a couple of coaches last week run out on the floor and no fine. I get fined for being right.” … Nets coach Kiki Vandeweghe thinks it will be a week or so before Shawne Williams is in “any kind of condition to compete.” New Jersey acquired the troubled Williams from Dallas on Monday along with Kris Humphries for Eduardo Najera. “We’re not pulling any punches,” Vandeweghe said. “We told him this is a chance to revitalize his career, this is a second chance. He was excited.”


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