Nuggets Stop Celtics
Boston Celtics forward Brandon Bass works ball inside past Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Denver on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Denver — Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson each scored 26 points to help the Denver Nuggets snap a three-game losing streak by beating the Boston Celtics 97-90 last night.
Andre Miller and Kosta Koufos added 11 points apiece and Kenneth Faried had 16 rebounds to go with his seven points to help the Nuggets gain a split of their season series with Boston, which last week beat Denver in triple overtime to end the Nuggets’ nine-game winning streak and start their losing streak.
Jeff Green had 20 points off the bench to lead the Celtics, who have been playing well despite losing Rajon Rondo (torn ACL), Jared Sullinger (back surgery) and Leandro Barbosa (torn ACL) to season-ending injuries in the past month.
Avery Bradley added 17 points and Courtney Lee had 15 for the Celtics, who lost their fourth in a row to the Nuggets in Denver.
Behind much of the night, the Nuggets stretched their lead to 78-70 going into the fourth quarter when Corey Brewer made layups on successive possessions.
The Celtics fought back to tie it at 84-all on Bradley’s 3-pointer with 5:37 left to play, but Gallinari, who missed the previous two games with a sinus infection, hit a clutch 3-pointer and Lawson added a basket on a putback.
After Kevin Garnett missed a pair of free throws, Faried grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back in to give the Nuggets a 93-86 lead with 2:35 left.
Boston got a driving layup from Green and a pair of free throws from Jason Terry to cut Denver’s lead to 94-90 with 1:09 left.
After Faried missed a pair free throws, Garnett missed a short, contested jumper and Gallinari rebounded for Denver, getting the ball out to Lawson. He was fouled and made both free throws to give the Nuggets a six-point cushion with 20.7 seconds remaining.
The Celtics didn’t score again.
Notes: The game was preceded by a moment of silence for Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, who died Monday at 80. ... The Celtics continue a five-game road trip by playing the Lakers tonight in the second of a back-to-back set. ... Boston missed a chance to sweep the season series with Denver for the first time since 2003-04.
Bobcats 105, Magic 92
Orlando, Fla. — Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson each had 24 points, Byron Mullens added 20 points and 12 rebounds and Charlotte survived a second-half comeback to hold off Orlando.
Mullens has had at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in three of the Bobcats’ last five games.
Raptors 96, Wizards 88
Washington — DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay scored 24 points apiece, and Toronto won a matchup between slow-starting, coming-on-lately teams.
Playing with an improvised scoreboard, horn, game clock and 24-second clock because of a malfunction in the scoring system, the Raptors took the lead for good in the second quarter and won their fifth straight game, putting them one victory shy of last season’s total.
Jazz 115, Warriors 101
Salt Lake City — Al Jefferson scored 24 points, Gordon Hayward added 17 in his return from a shoulder injury and Utah defeated Golden State to extend the Warriors’ losing streak to six games.
Bulls 96, Hornets 87
New Orleans — Luol Deng scored 20 points and Chicago snapped a two-game skid.
Grizzlies 105, Pistons 91
Auburn Hills, Mich. — Mike Conley scored 19 points, Zach Randolph had a strong game and Memphis won its fourth straight.