Garnett hears ëMVPí chant
BOSTON ó Kevin Garnett scored 30 points, sinking the final two to an iM-V-P!î chant echoing through the new Boston Garden, and Paul Pierce had 12 of his 27 in the fourth quarter to lead the Celtics to a 117-97 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.
Kendrick Perkins had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Ray Allen had 14 points and eight assists for Boston, which snapped a two-game losing streak. Rajon Rondo scored 14 with six rebounds and six assists while frustrating Shaquille OíNeal into a technical foul as Boston turned a tie game into a double-digit lead in the third.
Amare Stoudemire scored 32 and OíNeal had 16 with seven rebounds for the Suns, who have lost two straight since a seven-game winning streak put them in position to challenge the Lakers for first place in the Pacific Division.
Hornets 100, Cavaliers 99
CLEVELAND ó David Westís 17-foot jumper, coming on Chris Paulís 20th assist, with less than a second left gave the New Orleans Hornets their fifth straight win.
Cleveland inbounded the ball to James, whose 75-foot heave at the horn bounced off the 24-second clock at the other end.
Hawks 115, Bucks 96
ATLANTA ó Joe Johnson scored 28 points, Josh Childress added 20 and the Atlanta Hawks maintained the eighth and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
The Hawks also escaped a major scare when X-rays on point guard Mike Bibbyís left thumb were negative. Bibby left the game in the fourth quarter and didnít return, but trainer Wally Blase said he had a strain and would be listed as day-to-day.
Knicks 103, Heat 96, OT
NEW YORK ó Jamal Crawford scored 24 points, including the go-ahead jumper with about 21/2 minutes left in overtime, and the New York Knicks ended their longest home losing streak in nearly 45 years.
Zach Randolph had 16 points and 14 rebounds, and David Lee added 15 points and 16 boards for the Knicks, who had dropped a franchise record-tying seven in a row at home for the first time since Nov. 26-Dec. 17, 1963.
76ers 121, Bulls 99
PHILADELPHIA ó Lou Williams scored 23 points and Andre Miller had a season-high 18 assists for the 76ers.
The Sixers dominated early and led by 22 in the first half en route to their 19th victory in their last 24 games. The Sixers (37-35) are two games over .500 for the first time all season, have won 11 of 12 at home and are 11-2 in March to charge up the East standings.
Nets 124, Pacers 117
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó Devin Harris had 22 points and a career-best 15 assists and the New Jersey Nets kept pace with Atlanta for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
Vince Carter added 22 points and a season-high 14 rebounds.
Rockets 97, Tíwolves 86
HOUSTON ó Tracy McGrady scored 10 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and Luis Scola had 18 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for the Houston Rockets. McGrady also had 11 rebounds and nine assists to help the Rockets keep pace in the tight Western Conference race.
Spurs 97, Clippers 88
SAN ANTONIO ó Tim Duncan had 26 points and 12 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs withstood a late rally by the Clippers. It was the fifth straight victory for the Spurs, who are in fifth place in the Western Conference.
Raptors 89, Pistons 82
TORONTO ó Chris Bosh scored 21 points and T.J. Ford had 13 points and nine assists in his return to the starting lineup for the Raptors.
By Mike London Salisbury Post Brad Roach smiled with relief at Catawba pro day when his official height was announced... read more