The Celtics  may have won the game, 96-87, but it wasn’t pretty. The Nets  tested the C’s for the majority of the game and led, 73-72, heading into the fourth quarter.The Celtics allowed the Nets to shoot at an astonishingly high percentage in the first half (63.3 percent, compared to their league-worst season average of 42.2 percent). The C’s were also outplayed in the paint.
But the Celtics were carried by their backcourt and bench — a game-high 26 points from Ray Allen , 17 from Rajon Rondo , and a combined 30 from Rasheed Wallace , Eddie House  and Glen Davis  led the Celtics to avoid a humiliating loss against the worst team in the NBA.
Player of the game: Eddie House scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter and took back the game for the Celtics. House had shot 0-for-4 from the field, including 0-for-3 from 3-point range, heading into the final quarter.
Turning point: House hit a 3-pointer with nine minutes left in the game to put the Celtics up 77-75. The C’s forced a turnover on the next possession, and Bill Walker  drew a foul to push the lead to four. This gave the C’s the edge and control over the ballgame.
– Ray Allen led a balanced attack throughout the game, scoring 11 points in the first half and another 15 in the second.
– The Celtics committed a pair of careless turnovers down the stretch. They were called for a 24-second violation shortly followed by an eight-second violation. Earlier in the game, officials rescinded a fourth-quarter trey by House and ruled that a 24-second shot clock violation had occurred.
– The Celtics will face the Magic on Sunday in Boston. The Magic lost on Friday night to the Wizards.