Green, Celtics Rout Suns
Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah (13) dunks as Charlotte Bobcats' Jeff Adrien (4) looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Feb. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Phoenix — Jeff Green scored 31 points in his first start of the season and the short-handed Boston Celtics routed the Phoenix Suns 113-88 last night.
Chris Wilcox had 13 points off the bench, and Avery Bradley and Jason Terry scored 13 each for the Celtics, who moved two games ahead of Milwaukee for seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
Green started in place of 36-year-old Kevin Garnett, given a rest with Boston playing its third game in four nights. Green responded by going 11 of 14 from the floor and setting his season high for points.
Paul Pierce scored only eight on 3-of-5 shooting for his fourth single-digit game of the season. But that mattered little to the Celtics, who were dominant from the opening tip in snapping a two-game skid.
Pacers 114, Pistons 82
Indianapolis — David West scored 18 points, George Hill had 15 and the surging Pacers beat Detroit.
Indiana has won three straight and eight of 10, including a 98-79 victory against Detroit on Jan. 30.
This one was a runaway.
The Pacers grabbed control with a 14-4 run at the start of the second quarter. Orlando Johnson had 11 points in the run, making back-to-back 3-pointers to help Indiana to a 48-23 lead.
Bulls 105, Bobcats 75
Charlotte, N.C. — Taj Gibson scored 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting and Chicago beat Michael Jordan’s Bobcats.
With Jordan looking on from the end of the Bobcats’ bench, the Bulls jumped out to a 38-19 lead midway through the second quarter and never looked back.
The Bulls had failed to score 100 points in their previous six games and were held to 67 by Miami on Thursday night, but found their groove against the NBA-worst Bobcats.
Wizards 119, Nuggets 113
Washington — The Wizards put on one of their best offensive shows of the season, putting seven players in double figures while taking down another contending team.
Emeka Okafor had 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Wizards, who never trailed but had an 18-point fourth-quarter lead cut to two in the final minute.
Rockets 106, Nets 96
New York — James Harden and Carlos Delfino each scored 22 points, and the Rockets tied their longest winning streak against any opponent by beating Brooklyn for the 13th straight time.
Houston blew most of a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter before Delfino hit a big 3-pointer with 1:54 left. He later made another jumper before Harden followed with a 3-pointer to put it away.
Hawks 122, Kings 108
Atlanta — Al Horford led Atlanta’s balanced scoring with 24 points and the Hawks overcame a slow start to beat Sacramento. Jeff Teague had 20 points and 12 assists, Josh Smith added 18 points and DeShawn Stevenson had 17 for Atlanta, which put six players in double figures.
Isaiah Thomas scored 30 points to lead the Kings, who have lost four straight and eight of 10. DeMarcus Cousins had 26 points and 13 rebounds.
Raptors 100, Knicks 98
Toronto — Rudy Gay scored a season-high 32 points, DeMar DeRozan had 18 and Toronto beat New York, handing the slumping Knicks their season-worst fourth straight loss.
Kyle Lowry scored 15, Amir Johnson had 12 and John Lucas 10 as the Raptors won for the sixth time in seven games.
Carmelo Anthony had 32 points and J.R. Smith added 19 for the Knicks, winless since beating Minnesota on Feb. 8.
Grizzlies 88, Magic 82
Memphis, Tenn. — Marc Gasol had 19 points and 13 rebounds, Zach Randolph added 16 points and 14 boards, and Memphis beat short-handed Orlando.
Mike Conley finished with 14 points and seven assists for Memphis, and Ed Davis scored 10.
New Orleans — Vince Carter capped a 22-point performance with a 3-pointer that gave Dallas the lead with 6.5 seconds left, and the Mavericks held on for their third straight victory.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 points for the Mavericks, while Elton Brand added 13 points and Darren Collison 11, including a pair of key free throws in the final seconds.
Oklahoma City — Russell Westbrook scored 37 points, Kevin Durant added 27 and Oklahoma City snapped a three-game losing streak.
The Thunder avoided losing four in a row for the first time since April 2009, near the end of their first season in Oklahoma City, but made little progress in getting their defense back in order.
They had allowed 113.7 points per game during the losing streak and were just a basket better against Minnesota, instead relying on an offense that regained the NBA lead in scoring average.
Alexey Shved led Minnesota with 17 points, and Andrei Kirilenko and Dante Cunningham had 15 points apiece. The Timberwolves shot 53 percent in the first half but couldn’t keep up that pace and wound up hitting on 43 percent after halftime.