Boston Trounces Indiana
Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, left. pressures Indiana Pacers forward Paul George while bringing the ball up court during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Friday, Jan. 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Boston — Kevin Garnett scored 18 points before he was ejected for a flagrant foul in the fourth quarter, and the Boston Celtics snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Indiana Pacers 94-75 last night.
Rajon Rondo added 18 points, seven assists and five rebounds for Boston, which had lost eight of 10 to fall a season-worst three games below .500. Garnett also had seven rebounds.
Tyler Hansbrough scored 19 points and David West and Roy Hibbert had 10 rebounds apiece for the Pacers. The Central Division leaders had won six of seven and nine of 11.
The Celtics used a 17-3 run in the second quarter to take control of the game. There was plenty of intensity, though, with the Pacers drawing three technical fouls before Garnett was given a Flagrant 2 foul for flailing at Hansbrough in the fourth quarter, hitting him in the face.
Paul Pierce scored 13 for the Celtics, and rookie Jared Sullinger had seven points and 10 rebounds before fouling out for the fourth time in seven games.
The Pacers shot 31.8 percent from the field, a season low, with West and Paul George each going 4 for 18.
Indiana led 16-15 after one, with Hibbert collecting five points and six rebounds in the opening quarter. The Celtics trailed 20-19 early in the second when they scored 17 of the next 20 points to open a double-digit lead. Boston made it a 15-point game before the end of the half but led 47-35 at the break.
The Pacers cut the deficit to 10 points with the first basket of the third quarter but Boston soon went on an 11-2 run to make it a 19-point game. It was 24 in the fourth quarter.
Bulls 96, Heat 89
Miami — Carlos Boozer scored 27 points and the Chicago Bulls dominated on the boards to become only the third visiting team to win in Miami this season, beating the Heat last night.
Chicago outrebounded Miami 48-28. The Bulls had 19 offensive rebounds to four for the Heat.
The Eastern Conference-leading Heat fell to 15-3 at home. Their other home losses came against the Knicks and Warriors.
Nets 115, Wizards 113 (2ot)
Washington — Joe Johnson’s jumper with 0.7 seconds left in the second overtime lifted Brooklyn over Washington.
Bradley Beal’s two free throws tied the score at 113 with 9.1 seconds to play before Johnson, who had 18 points, hit the shot that improved Brooklyn to 4-1 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.
Brook Lopez had 27 points and 13 rebounds for the Nets, and Deron Williams added 24 points and 10 assists.
Thunder 109, 76Ers 85
Oklahoma City — Russell Westbrook scored 27 points, Kevin Durant added 26 and Oklahoma City bounced back from a rare home loss to beat Philadelphia.
Oklahoma City made eight of its first 10 3-point attempts in the second half and never trailed after scoring the final five points before halftime.
Serge Ibaka chipped in 15 points and 10 rebounds and Kevin Martin had 16 points off the bench for the Thunder, who haven’t lost consecutive home games since dropping two of the first three to start the 2010-11 season.
Cavaliers 106, Bobcats 104
Charlotte, N.C. — Kyrie Irving scored 33 points, including a pull-up jumper from the foul line with one second left, to lift Cleveland over Charlotte.
Irving had 14 of his team’s final 16 points and 26 points in the second half as the Cavaliers snapped a three-game losing streak.
Irving was 10 of 21 from the field and converted all 10 free throws while scoring 16 points in the fourth quarter. He also had six assists and five rebounds.
Pistons 85, Hawks 94
Auburn Hills, Mich. — Austin Daye had a season-best 20 points and Detroit earned its fourth consecutive victory.
The Hawks, who trailed by as many as 19, had the ball in the final seconds, but Andre Drummond blocked Lou Williams’ jumper at the buzzer to preserve the win.
The Pistons have won six of seven overall, with the only loss coming in double overtime at Atlanta.
The second unit has powered the surge, outscoring the starters in several games, and the reserves outscored Atlanta’s backups 41-14, led by Daye.
Trail Blazers 86, Grizzlies 84
Memphis, Tenn. — Wesley Matthews scored 21 points, J.J. Hickson added 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Portland beat Memphis.
Rudy Gay’s jumper from near the top of the key was off the mark, allowing the Trail Blazers to escape a closely played game that saw nine ties and 21 lead changes.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Portland, while Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard added 11 points apiece, Lillard also handing out eight assists.
Kings 105, Raptors 96
Toronto — DeMarcus Cousins scored a season-high 31 points and matched his career high with 20 rebounds, John Salmons scored eight of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and Sacramento beat Toronto.
Jason Thompson scored 14 points and Isaiah Thomas had 11 as the Kings won their second straight road game.
Sacramento had gone 1-13 away from home before winning at Cleveland on Wednesday.
The Kings have won six of eight overall following their second five-game losing streak of the season.
Rockets 115, Bucks101
Milwaukee — James Harden scored 29 points to lead the Houston Rockets to a 115-101 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Harden shot 11 of 18 from the floor to go with seven assists and four steals for Houston, which has won 10 of its last 13 games.
The Rockets, who shot 54 percent from the field, also got 22 points from Carlos Delfino in his return to Milwaukee. He played for the Bucks from 2009-12 before signing with Houston as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.
Milwaukee equaled a season high by losing its third game in a row despite 16 points from Brandon Jennings.