Brooklyn, NY – Rajon Rondo supplied a game-high 19 points, and the visiting Boston Celtics posted a 93-76 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Christmas Day.
Rondo added six rebounds, five assists and three steals for the Celtics, who had entered the Barclays Center on a five-game road skid.
"I think we're getting better," Boston coach Doc Rivers remarked. "I think we're very, very close to becoming a good team, but we're not yet."
Boston rookie Jared Sullinger made 6-of-7 field goals to finish with 16 points, while fellow reserve Jeff Green scored 15.
Gerald Wallace and Brook Lopez had 15 points apiece for Brooklyn, which fell to 3-9 in December.
"Losing wears on you and that's a part of it," Wallace said of his team's struggles. "We have to understand that this is a long season. It's 82 games. Some stuff, we've got to let go. I think we drag stuff over to the next day."
The Nets were sloppy with the ball, committing 20 turnovers that resulted in 25 Boston points, and were held to 40.6 percent shooting despite getting off to a good start.
Brooklyn shot 56.3 percent in the first quarter, but led only 24-22 in part due to six giveaways.
Boston then took control of the game in the second quarter, heating up from the floor while the Nets went cold. The Celtics shot nearly 60 percent during the frame and carried a 56-42 lead into halftime. Brooklyn, conversely, connected on 36.8 percent of its shots.
The Celtics' advantage reached 64-43 when Paul Pierce made two free throws with 7:13 remaining in the third quarter. Brooklyn responded with a 15-2 run to get within single digits, but Rondo hit a 3-pointer to put Boston up 73-58 heading into the fourth stanza.
Brooklyn trailed by at least 12 points the rest of the way.
The Celtics improved to 12-17 all-time on Dec. 25, while the Nets fell to 4-4 ... Pierce had eight points and 10 assists ... Joe Johnson compiled 12 points and Deron Williams scored 10 for Brooklyn ... Nets forward Kris Humphries sat out against the Celtics with a abdominal strain, an injury that will force him to also miss Wednesday's game at Milwaukee. He will be re-evaluated when the team returns ... Brooklyn won the first two matchups this season.