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Pierce Points C’s to Victory

  • Charlotte Bobcats' Ramon Sessions, center, drives to the basket between Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry, left, and Ed Davis during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

    Charlotte Bobcats' Ramon Sessions, center, drives to the basket between Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry, left, and Ed Davis during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

  • Charlotte Bobcats' Ramon Sessions, center, drives to the basket between Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry, left, and Ed Davis during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

    Charlotte Bobcats' Ramon Sessions, center, drives to the basket between Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry, left, and Ed Davis during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

  • Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry, left, fouls Charlotte Bobcats' Michael Kidd-Gilchrist during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

    Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry, left, fouls Charlotte Bobcats' Michael Kidd-Gilchrist during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

  • Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry, left, fouls Charlotte Bobcats' Michael Kidd-Gilchrist during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

    Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry, left, fouls Charlotte Bobcats' Michael Kidd-Gilchrist during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

  • Toronto Raptors' Quicy Acy, center, releases a shot asCharlotte Bobcats' Gerald Henderson, right, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

    Toronto Raptors' Quicy Acy, center, releases a shot asCharlotte Bobcats' Gerald Henderson, right, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

  • Toronto Raptors' Quicy Acy, center, releases a shot asCharlotte Bobcats' Gerald Henderson, right, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

    Toronto Raptors' Quicy Acy, center, releases a shot asCharlotte Bobcats' Gerald Henderson, right, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

  • Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan shoots next to Charlotte Bobcats' Tyrus Thomas during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

    Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan shoots next to Charlotte Bobcats' Tyrus Thomas during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

  • Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan shoots next to Charlotte Bobcats' Tyrus Thomas during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

    Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan shoots next to Charlotte Bobcats' Tyrus Thomas during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

  • Toronto Raptors' Amir Johnson dunks between Charlotte Bobcats' Brendan Haywood, left, and Tyrus Thomas during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

    Toronto Raptors' Amir Johnson dunks between Charlotte Bobcats' Brendan Haywood, left, and Tyrus Thomas during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

  • Toronto Raptors' Amir Johnson dunks between Charlotte Bobcats' Brendan Haywood, left, and Tyrus Thomas during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

    Toronto Raptors' Amir Johnson dunks between Charlotte Bobcats' Brendan Haywood, left, and Tyrus Thomas during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

  • Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan makes a pass over Charlotte Bobcats' Brendan Haywood, right, and Tyrus Thomas during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

    Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan makes a pass over Charlotte Bobcats' Brendan Haywood, right, and Tyrus Thomas during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

  • Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan makes a pass over Charlotte Bobcats' Brendan Haywood, right, and Tyrus Thomas during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

    Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan makes a pass over Charlotte Bobcats' Brendan Haywood, right, and Tyrus Thomas during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

  • Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) tries to knock the ball from Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

    Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) tries to knock the ball from Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

  • Charlotte Bobcats' Ramon Sessions, center, drives to the basket between Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry, left, and Ed Davis during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
  • Charlotte Bobcats' Ramon Sessions, center, drives to the basket between Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry, left, and Ed Davis during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
  • Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry, left, fouls Charlotte Bobcats' Michael Kidd-Gilchrist during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
  • Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry, left, fouls Charlotte Bobcats' Michael Kidd-Gilchrist during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
  • Toronto Raptors' Quicy Acy, center, releases a shot asCharlotte Bobcats' Gerald Henderson, right, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
  • Toronto Raptors' Quicy Acy, center, releases a shot asCharlotte Bobcats' Gerald Henderson, right, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
  • Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan shoots next to Charlotte Bobcats' Tyrus Thomas during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
  • Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan shoots next to Charlotte Bobcats' Tyrus Thomas during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
  • Toronto Raptors' Amir Johnson dunks between Charlotte Bobcats' Brendan Haywood, left, and Tyrus Thomas during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
  • Toronto Raptors' Amir Johnson dunks between Charlotte Bobcats' Brendan Haywood, left, and Tyrus Thomas during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
  • Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan makes a pass over Charlotte Bobcats' Brendan Haywood, right, and Tyrus Thomas during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
  • Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan makes a pass over Charlotte Bobcats' Brendan Haywood, right, and Tyrus Thomas during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
  • Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) tries to knock the ball from Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Boston — Paul Pierce scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half and Kevin Garnett added 17 points and four blocks as the Boston Celtics nearly blew a 17-point lead before pulling away late in a 103-91 victory over the Houston Rockets last night.

The Celtics extended their season-high winning streak to five games, but only after surviving a 12-0 run that pulled the Rockets within two points midway through the fourth quarter.

Rajon Rondo finished with 12 points and eight assists for the Celtics. Courtney Lee and Jared Sullinger scored 14 apiece and Sullinger also had 11 rebounds for his second straight double-double.

James Harden scored 24 and Chandler Parsons added 18 for Houston, which fell to 0-2 during a three-game road trip that concludes Saturday in Philadelphia.

The Rockets had won five straight and 10 of 12 before starting the trip with a loss at New Orleans on Wednesday. After struggling through the first three quarters, Houston put together one big surge in the fourth quarter that stunned the Celtics and their fans — but only for a little while.

Harden, Parsons and Jeremy Lin, who scored 12, were the only Houston players to finish in double figures.

The Rockets trailed by 17 in the third quarter and fell behind 80-66 when Garnett opened the final period with a turnaround jumper. He drew a foul on another turnaround with 10:44 remaining and converted the three-point play to put Boston ahead 83-69.

Houston then snapped out of its funk, scoring 12 straight over the next 3:42 and pulling to 83-81 when Parsons leaped for an unlikely dunk that barely cleared the rim.

Carlos Delfino started the run with a 3-pointer and Parsons caught Boston off-guard during a series of fast breaks, pulling up from beyond the arc and getting the Rockets to 83-77. Harden followed that with a steal and took it in for a dunk as the Rockets continued chipping away at Boston’s formerly large lead.

Houston could not keep up the frenzied pace and the Celtics regained control with a 9-2 run following Parsons’ dunk.

Notes: Boston didn’t get to the foul line in the first half, but managed just fine offensively by making 24 of 44 from the field and led 53-45 at the break. ... Sullinger had 14 points and eight rebounds at halftime. He was coming off a career-best performance Wednesday when he had 16 rebounds in a win over Phoenix, but had to sit when he drew his fifth foul early in the fourth. ... Former Celtics great Kevin McHale, whose No. 32 is retired and hangs above the parquet floor, was making his first appearance back in Boston as the Rockets’ coach.

Raptors 99, Bobcats 78

Toronto — Alan Anderson scored 16 points against his former team, Jose Calderon had 15 and the Toronto Raptors won for the 10th time in 13 games, beating the Charlotte Bobcats 99-78.

Amir Johnson had 13 points and eight rebounds while Ed Davis had 12 points and eight boards for the Raptors, who led by as many as 24.

Anderson had four of Toronto’s 12 3-pointers, while Calderon and Kyle Lowry each made three.

Hawks 103, Jazz 95

Atlanta — Devin Harris scored a season-high 24 points and the Atlanta Hawks rallied from a second-half deficit of 15 points to beat the Utah Jazz 103-95. Randy Foye had 25 points to lead Utah, which had won four of five but was denied its first back-to-back road wins of the season. Al Jefferson had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Paul Milsap had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Jazz.

Nets 99, Suns 79

New York — Joe Johnson scored 19 points and MarShon Brooks added 17 points off the bench, leading Brooklyn to its fifth straight victory

The Nets have won three straight games by 20 or more points for the first time in the team’s NBA history.

Hornets 104 , Timberwolves 92

New Orleans — Greivis Vasquez had 18 points and 13 assists to lead the Hornets over the Timberwolves for their fourth straight win.

Eric Gordon added 16 points, Ryan Anderson had 15, Jason Smith 14, Al-Farouz Aminu 12 and Roger Mason 10 for the Hornets, who have won five out of six with Gordon in the starting lineup.

Bulls 108, Knicks 101

New York — Luol Deng scored a season-high 33 points in the Bulls’ third victory over New York this season. Topping the 29 points he scored here last month, Deng shot 13 of 18 from the field and also led the defensive effort that contained Carmelo Anthony in the decisive first half of his return from a one-game suspension.

Grizzlies 101, Spurs 98 (ot)

Memphis, Tenn. — Rudy Gay hit a pullup jumper from 14 feet with 27.8 seconds left, and the Grizzlies held off San Antonio in overtime for their fourth straight victory and their first over their Southwest Division rival since the 2011 playoffs.

San Antonio had won five straight in the series since the Grizzlies upset the then-No. 1 seed in the opening round in 2011.

Pistons 103
Bucks 87

Milwaukee — Greg Monroe had 26 points and 11 rebounds, Brandon Knight scored 20 points, and Detroit beat, handing Bucks interim coach Jim Boylan his first loss. Detroit led 74-60 going into the fourth quarter and squashed any hope of a Bucks comeback when Monroe scored on a hook shot, layup and dunk and Knight added a 3 as the lead grew to 83-62.

with 9:57 to play.

Rodney Stuckey’s 3 gave the Pistons another 21-point lead with 2:48 to go and the Bucks didn’t get closer than 14 again.

Brandon Jennings and Beno Udrih had 15 points for Milwaukee.

On Monday, the Bucks and coach Scott Skiles mutually decided to part ways. Boylan, a longtime NBA assistant, who had been with Skiles in Phoenix and Chicago, took over and won his first game in charge Tuesday when the Bucks beat Phoenix 108-99. Then, after trailing by 15, Milwaukee rallied to win 104-96 at Chicago on Wednesday.