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He received light applause when he was introduced with the other Nets starters. Garnett missed his fourth straight game with back spasms.

“Every time I come into this gym, it’s going to be emotion. Not like last time, though,” Pierce said. “We just didn’t have any rhythm on offense or defense.”

Pierce and Garnett each scored six points in their first game in Boston this season, an 85-79 Brooklyn win Jan. 26. Both were emotional during and after video tributes on the video screen above center court.

On Friday, the Celtics led 53-41 at halftime - after the Nets missed all 17 of their 3-pointers - and 70-57 with four minutes left in the third quarter.

Brooklyn scored the next 11 points with Shaun Livingston starting the spurt with two free throws and Andray Blatche following with a 3-pointer. Andrei Kirilenko made a three-point play, Marcus Thornton sank a layup and Johnson hit a free throw.

Green ended the run with a three-point play, the Celtics led 78-70 entering the fourth quarter and stayed ahead by at least seven the rest of the way.

Despite all those turnovers.

“I remember Bobby Knight on ESPN said the team that had the most turnovers is going to lose,” Sullinger said. “I guess we exceeded that expectation.”

NOTES: Celtics C Vitor Faverani will miss the rest of the season after having arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to repair a torn lateral meniscus on Friday. … Pierce made four of 11 shots and is 6-for-24 with 20 points in three games against his former team.