Celtics-Nets Preview

The Boston Celtics are still searching for their first road win since trading Rajon Rondo, with their offense looking abysmal.

The Brooklyn Nets can relate after some dismal shooting in consecutive losses.

These teams hope to find the range Wednesday night in Brooklyn after splitting their first two meetings in Boston.

The Celtics have dropped seven of nine since dealing Rondo to Dallas on Dec. 18, and are shooting 41.2 percent in an 0-4 road slide in the aftermath of the trade.

Boston (11-21) begins a three-game trip after shooting 39.6 percent in Monday’s 104-95 loss to Charlotte. The Celtics finished with a season-low six turnovers but saw their starting backcourt of Avery Bradley and Evan Turner combine for nine points on 4-of-12 shooting.

Jared Sullinger led the way with 22 points and eight rebounds.

"Our natural ability comes out and we try to make that home run play but as a team that hurts us, as a team that hurts us," Sullinger said. "Like I said, it’s just not one individual, it’s everybody, sometimes I do it. And we just have to step outside of ourselves and put the team first."

The Celtics received a boost from rookie first-round pick James Young, who scored a season-high 13 points in 17 minutes as he returned after missing 14 games due to a right shoulder injury.

"I was just trying to take every shot with confidence," said Young, who made 5 of 7 shots. "After one fell, I just tried to go for another and another."

Brooklyn (16-18) looks to regroup after losing 88-84 in Miami on Sunday and 96-88 in overtime at home to Dallas on Monday. The Nets shot 39.5 percent the first night and 39.3 the second.

"If you make shots and you execute and you don’t turn the ball over, you have a chance to score," coach Lionel Hollins said. "We’ve done it on a number of nights but lately we’ve struggled."

Hollins refused to discuss why Brook Lopez disappeared from the offense after a strong first quarter Monday in which the big man went 9 for 12 for 18 points. Lopez scored four points on 2-of-9 shooting thereafter.

”I didn’t want to really try to force anything. I did a couple of times, but like I said, (Jarrett) Jack got going, Joe (Johnson) got going,” Lopez said. ”We’ve got lots of guys that can contribute on this team and definitely don’t want to get in the way of that.”

Deron Williams could return for Brooklyn after he sat out against the Mavericks because of hurting his left side versus the Heat.

Former Celtics star Kevin Garnett figures to be back since he sat out Monday’s second half of a back-to-back.

Johnson’s three lowest career shooting percentages against an opponent are versus his three former teams – Atlanta (38.5), Phoenix (38.5) and Boston (40.6).

Boston totaled 122 points in the paint in the first two meetings. The Celtics won 121-105 in the season opener Oct. 29 before Jack scored the winning basket with 28 seconds left in the Nets’ 109-107 win Dec. 26.

Brooklyn took both matchups at Barclays Center a season ago.