Coach of the month in November, out of a job by New Year's.

The Brooklyn Nets have elevated expectations this season, and a .500 record wasn't good enough. Coach Avery Johnson was fired Thursday, his team having lost 10 of 13 games after a strong start to its first season in Brooklyn.

"We don't have the same fire now than we did when we were 11-4," general manager Billy King said at a news conference in East Rutherford, N.J. "I tried to talk to Avery about it, and we just can't figure it out. The same pattern kept on happening."

Assistant P.J. Carlesimo, a former Warriors coach, will coach the Nets on an interim basis, starting Friday night with a home game against Charlotte. King said the Nets might reach out to other candidates but wouldn't comment on a report they planned to contact Phil Jackson.

King said the decision to fire Johnson was made by ownership after a phone discussion Thursday morning.

Clippers 106, Celtics 77: Matt Barnes tied his season high with 21 points off the bench, Chris Paul had 11 assists and host Los Angeles defeated Boston, becoming the first team to win 15 consecutive games since the Celtics four years ago.

Fellow reserve Jamal Crawford added 17 points, Blake Griffin had 15 and Caron Butler 14 to help the Clippers improve the NBA's best record to 23-6.

Kevin Garnett scored 16 points for Boston, which never led in dropping to .500 at 14-14 with its fifth loss in seven games. Paul Pierce and Jeff Green added 12 points each. Boston's winning streak extended to 19 games in 2008-09.


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Thunder 111, Mavericks 105: Kevin Durant scored 40 points, and Russell Westbrook added eight of his 16 points in overtime to help Oklahoma City win its 11th straight home game. Serge Ibaka added 19 points and matched his season high with 17 rebounds as Oklahoma City rallied from 10 points down in the final 7:17 of regulation.

Darren Collison scored a season-best 32 points for Dallas. Dirk Nowitzki scored nine points in his second game back after offseason knee surgery.

Heat: Guard Dwyane Wade has been suspended one game without pay by the NBA for flailing his leg and making contact with the groin of the Charlotte Bobcats' Ramon Sessions during the Heat's victory on Wednesday night. Wade will serve the suspension Friday night when the Heat visit the Detroit Pistons.

Lakers: Center Dwight Howard was fined $35,000 by the NBA for a flagrant foul against Denver's Kenneth Faried on Wednesday night.

Knicks: Point guard Raymond Felton won't need surgery on his broken right pinkie finger but is expected to be out at least a month.