Dec. 25, 2002: Nets humiliate Celtics in Eastern finals rematch
The previous spring, the New Jersey Nets sewed up their first-ever trip to the NBA Finals with a six-game Eastern Conference Finals victory over the Boston Celtics.
When the teams met on Christmas Day in the 2002-03 season, the game quickly turned into a no-contest. New Jersey led 63-40 by halftime and held Boston to just 32.4 percent shooting on the day (23-for-71) on the way to a 117-81 pummeling of the Celtics.
The only thing that kept Boston in the game at all was going 29-for-36 at the foul line. The Nets, meanwhile, hit 54.2 percent of their shots (45-for-83) while rolling to the victory.
Paul Pierce scored 27 points and Antoine Walker added 21 for Boston, but they were a combined 12-for-38 from the floor on the day. Each of them had six rebounds, while Walker and Walter McCarty paced Boston with three assists each. Tony Battie had two blocks.
The teams would go on to meet in the playoffs in the spring of 2003, with the Nets sweeping Boston in the second round en route to a second straight NBA Finals nod.