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NBA: Celtics aim to rebound from disastrous Game 3

BOSTON - On Wednesday, the Boston Celtics watched Game 3 of the NBA Finals unfold on video, a poor performance that was tough to take.

BOSTON - On Wednesday, the Boston Celtics watched Game 3 of the NBA Finals unfold on video, a poor performance that was tough to take.

Tuesday night's 91-84 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, which earned the highest television ratings for a Game 3 since 2004, was largely the result of poor shooting.

The Lakers victory, which gives them a two-games-to-one lead over the Celtics in the best-of-seven series, was largely the result of clutch shooting, especially by Derek Fisher.

Fisher, who has won four NBA championships in two stints with Los Angeles over 11 seasons, took over in the decisive fourth quarter, when the Celtics had shrunk a once-commanding Lakers lead to one point. He finished with 16 points, half of them coming early in the fourth quarter when Kobe Bryant went scoreless for 10 minutes.

During Wednesday's video session, Tony Allen noticed another audience member, Paul Pierce, wasn't enjoying himself.

"He seemed pretty upset today in the film session," Allen said Wednesday. "I just saw his gestures. It kind of looked like he felt he could do more."

Pierce certainly has plenty of room for improvement in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.

He made just four shots before tossing in a meaningless layup with 5.1 seconds left and finished with 15 points, two rebounds and two assists. In Game 2, the Celtics won, 103-94, in spite of his missing 9 of 11 shots and scoring just 10 points after leading the team in the regular season with an 18.3 average.

On Tuesday night, the MVP of the 2008 Finals ran into foul trouble, reducing his aggressiveness. Rarely did he drive to the basket, a skill that usually gets him a layup or two free throws.

The futility spotlight focused on Ray Allen, who missed all 13 of his shots and finished with just two points. But he and Pierce got off to equally poor starts, both missing all five of their shots in the first quarter.

"They had an outstretched arm in front of my ball all night," Ray Allen said. "I just move forward and just focus on getting good rest today and being ready for [Thursday night]."

Avery Johnson told the Associated Press on Wednesday that he has agreed to become the coach of the NBA's worst team: the New Jersey Nets. He said he thinks the Nets will announce the deal Thursday.

Johnson, an ESPN analyst, coached Dallas for three-plus seasons, going 194-70 in the regular season and 23-24 in the playoffs. He guided the Mavericks to the NBA Finals in 2006, but was fired after a first-round playoff series loss to New Orleans in 2008.

Johnson will take over a team that posted a league worst 12-70 record and set a league-record opening the season with 18 straight losses.