NEW YORK — Rajon Rondo lost his cool, and any chance at history, in the second quarter when Boston last met Brooklyn.
This time, the second period featured some of the best basketball the Celtics have played this season.
Rondo scored 19 points in his first full game against the Nets this season, and the Celtics won 93-76 on Tuesday in another game with some heated moments between the division rivals.
Rondo, sidelined in the first meeting and thrown out of the second after shoving Nets forward Kris Humphries into the courtside seats, outplayed counterpart Deron Williams and helped the Celtics take control early.
“We moved the ball; we rebounded the ball,” Rondo said. “They beat us pretty bad on the glass, so tonight we did an exceptional job on the glass, taking care of the defensive rebounds, and we got stops.”
A month after the teams scuffled in Boston, there was another skirmish in the fourth quarter that resulted in four technical fouls. But that was the most fight the Nets put up in a disappointing performance on the national stage of the Christmas opener.
Rookie Jared Sullinger tied a career high with 16 points and Jeff Green had 15 for the Celtics (14-13), who avoided falling under .500 with just their second victory in six games.
The Celtics took control with a 23-5 run in the second quarter.
Rockets 120, Bulls 97: CHICAGO — James Harden scored 26 points and Jeremy Lin added 20 points and 11 assists to lead the Houston Rockets to a win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.
Omer Asik returned to the United Center and had a double-double with 20 points and 18 rebounds in his first trip back to Chicago since signing with the Rockets in the offseason.
The Rockets starters all scored in double figures. Chandler Parsons added 23 points and Marcus Morris had 10.