Rondo, Pierce Lead Celtics
Atlanta — Rajon Rondo had 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, and the Boston Celtics rallied to beat the Atlanta Hawks 89-81 last night.
Paul Pierce scored 17 of his 26 points in the third quarter as the Celtics erased a 19-point deficit and went on to consecutive wins for the first time since late November against Oklahoma City and Orlando.
Boston, which beat Indiana 94-75 on Friday night, had lost four straight road games.
Lou Williams scored 21 of his 28 points in the first half for Atlanta, which has lost two straight. Jeff Teague added 17 points, and Josh Smith, who was 2 for 12 in the second half, finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Hawks got off to a fast start, then fell apart in the third quarter as Boston began doubling ballhandlers on the perimeter and clamping down on Atlanta inside.
The Celtics trailed by 19 with 6:20 left in the second, but went up 61-60 on Jared Sullinger’s alley-oop layup with 3:47 left in the third. It was their first lead since the game’s first minute.
Boston opened the third with a 14-1 run to pull within one. Hawks coach Larry Drew, whose team missed its first five shots from the field to begin the second half, called timeout at the 7:29 mark, but Teague lost the ball out of the bounds on the ensuing possession.
Atlanta was just 2 for 14 from the field in the third and trailed 71-62 heading to the final period.
Kevin Garnett’s fast-break layup with 8:53 remaining gave the Celtics their first double-digit lead at 79-68. Garnett finished with 14 points.
Williams outscored the Celtics 13-10 by the 5:47 mark of the first and hit his first seven shots from the field. His 16th point came on a layup for Atlanta’s first double-digit lead at 23-12 late in the first.
But the Hawks could not overcome the absence of injured shooting guards Devin Harris and Anthony Morrow, and it hardly helped that Kyle Korver fouled out with 6:37 remaining and DeShawn Stevenson played only 13 minutes because of sore knees.
Knicks 114, Magic 106
Orlando, Fla. — Carmelo Anthony scored 16 of his season-high 40 points in the fourth quarter, helping New York outlast Orlando.
J.R. Smith added 18 points off the bench and Tyson Chandler had 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The Knicks have won two straight overall and four in a row over the Magic, dating back to last season.
Arron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson each had 29 points to lead the Magic, and Nik Vucevic contributed 11 points and 18 rebounds.
Orlando outrebounded New York 45-40, but had 14 turnovers as it extended its longest losing streak of the season to eight games.
All of the losses have come since the injury of starting forward Glen Davis, who continues to rehab his sprained left shoulder.
Pacers 95, Bucks 80
Indianapolis — Roy Hibbert had 20 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots to lead Indiana over Milwaukee.
Hibbert grabbed a career-high 11 offensive rebounds as the Pacers (20-14) won their seventh straight home game. George Hill added 14 points after missing Indiana’s previous three games with a right thigh contusion.
The Bucks scored the first six points of the third to grab a 53-52 lead. But the Pacers responded with an 8-0 run and cruised from there.
Indiana, which lost in Boston on Friday night, hasn’t lost consecutive games since falling to Denver on Dec. 7 and at Oklahoma City on Dec. 9.
Nets 113, Kings 93
New York — Brook Lopez scored 18 points in 17 minutes to lead six players in double figures, and the Nets got a nice effort from their reserves in beating Sacramento for their third straight victory.
One night after needing two overtimes to escape with a 115-113 victory in Washington, the Nets made sure the starters weren’t too taxed. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson both scored 15 points, but neither had to play even 30 minutes.
Reserves MarShon Brooks and Andray Blatche each scored 15 points and Mirza Teletovic had a career-best 14 as the Nets scored a season-high 65 points in the first half and improved to 5-1 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo.
DeMarcus Cousins had 28 points and 11 rebounds for the Kings, who had won four of five overall and two straight on the road but were defenseless in the finale of their four-game trip.