Jerry Stackhouse drained five of his six 3-point attempts and scored 17 points off the bench as the Nets beat the Celtics, 95-83, in a game at TD Garden that featured a brawl and the ejection of Rajon Rondo late in the first half. The 38-year-old Stackhouse added three steals for the Nets, who improve to 10-4 and lead the Atlantic Division. The Celtics committed 17 turnovers and could never find their offensive rhythm once Rondo left the game. Former Joe Johnson was again a Celtic-killer as he led the Nets with 18 points.
It was a brutal night for captain Paul Pierce, as he made just 4-of-13 from the floor and missed five free throws, finishing with 14 points. Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with 16 points and 10 rebounds before being pulled with just over three minutes left and the Celtics down 13. The Nets bench outscored the Celtics reserves, 52-18.
With Rondo 29.5 seconds left in the first half, Kevin Garnett was fouled under the Celtics' basket by Kris Humphries. Pushing and shoving immediately ensued, as Garnett also got into a shoving match with Gerald Wallace. Rondo into a shoving match with Humphries and the altercation spilled into the first two rows of seats under the basket. Wallace and Humphries picked up technical fouls on the play, and subsequent technicals, resulting in automatic ejection. Rondo was the only Celtic ejected. As a result, his streak of consecutive games with double figure assists ends at 37 games.
The first half was a frustrating one for the Celtics, who trailed by as much as 21 points. They made a late charge and cut the Nets lead down to 13, 51-38, at the half. Rondo finished with six points and three assists in 18 minutes. He finishes tied with John Stockton with the second-longest double-digit assist streak in history at 37 games, nine behind the all-time leader, Magic Johnson.
Making matters worse in the third quarter, Reggie Evans hit the back of Jeff Green's right knee while setting a screen for Stackhouse. Green eventually came out of the game and headed to the locker room with trainer Ed Lacerte and Dr. Brian McKeon. He returned to the game and played in the fourth quarter. Chris Wilcox came out of the game with an illness and did not return. Jason Collins saw action for just the second time this season.
The Celtics cut the lead down to nine points, 72-63, in the fourth quarter but the Nets responded with a 6-2 spurt to re-establish a 13-point advantage with just over seven minutes left. But the Celtics could get no closer down the stretch as they fall for the second time this season to Brooklyn and fall to 8-7 on the season. The two teams meet next on Christmas Day at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The Celtics are off Thursday before hosting the Trail Blazers on Friday night at TD Garden. The Trail Blazers lost Wednesday night, providing the Wizards their first win of the season. For complete coverage, including video of the brawl that led to the ejection of Rondo, visit the Celtics page at weei.com/celtics  and the Green Street  blog.