BOSTON, MARCH 2 -- Roy Hinson scored 11 of his 21 points in the third quarter and the New Jersey Nets improved their road record to 2-25 with a 117-107 victory over Boston tonight, the Celtics' first regular-season loss at home to an Eastern Conference team in 67 games.
The Nets, who won for the second consecutive night under new Coach Willis Reed, led, 99-78, with 7:35 to play. But the Celtics, with Danny Ainge hitting two straight three-pointers to start an 18-4 run, cut the deficit to 103-96 with 4:35 to play.
Then Otis Birdsong scored four points and Hinson five to stall the comeback.
"Everybody thought I was taking a bad job," said Reed, who was named Nets coach on Monday. "But after the first two games, it's been pretty good."
Tim McCormick scored 23 points to lead the Nets, the first Eastern Conference team to win a regular-season game at Boston Garden since New Jersey's 129-118 win in 1985.
The Celtics were led by Larry Bird's 34 points and 16 rebounds. Ainge added 20 points as Boston lost its third straight. Forward Kevin McHale missed the game with a knee injury.