NBA: Celtics keep Karl at 999
BOSTON (AP) – Ray Allen scored 28 points Wednesday night as the Boston Celtics took advantage of an injury to Carmelo Anthony and won their eighth straight game, beating the Denver Nuggets 105-89.
The loss left Nuggets coach George Karl stuck on 999 wins. His next chance to reach 1,000 comes Friday at Toronto.
Kevin Garnett had 17 points and nine rebounds, and Rajon Rondo added 13 assists for Boston. Paul Pierce scored 17 and Glen “Big Baby” Davis, who had been ill during the week, had 16 points.
Reserve guard Ty Lawson scored 24 for Denver, and Arron Afflalo added 16 points. Gary Forbes, who started in place of Anthony, had five points and zero rebounds in 19 minutes.
Anthony, the No. 10 scorer in the NBA this season at 22.8 points per game, was scratched just before tip-off because of inflammation in his right knee. It’s the third time in 11 home games this season that the Celtics have dodged an opponent’s star; Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Washington’s John Wall also sat out in Boston.
Heat 111, Jazz 98
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – LeBron James scored 33 points, Dwyane Wade added 28 and the surging Heat outscored Utah by 14 in the fourth quarter.
The victory extended Miami’s winning streak to six, and avenged a 116-114 overtime loss to Utah at home on Nov. 9. The Heat improved to 15-8, while Utah fell to 16-7.
Al Jefferson scored 25 points and all five Jazz starters were in double figures by the start of the fourth. But it wasn’t enough as the Heat pulled away with a 12-3 run to start the quarter.
Miami led by as many as 12, but the Heat found themselves trailing 78-77 entering the fourth after the Jazz mounted yet another rally. Last month, they came back from a 22-point deficit to beat the Heat.
In that game, Paul Millsap scored a career-high 46 for Utah. This time, he got going late and finished with 18 points on 9-of-12 shooting. Deron Williams had 21 for Utah but only four in the first half.
Lakers 87, Clippers 86
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Derek Fisher hit a layup at the buzzer to give the Los Angeles Lakers a victory over the Clippers after the two-time defending NBA champions trailed for most of the second half.
Kobe Bryant scored 24 points, Shannon Brown added 16 and Pau Gasol had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who ended a three-game road losing streak as the visiting team in their own building.
Eric Gordon scored 24 points and Blake Griffin had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Clippers, who blew a 12-point lead in the third quarter.
The Clippers were denied their sixth win of the season when Fisher, the wily clutch shooter of so many NBA finals, found his way into the paint for the winning basket in the first meeting of the season between the Staples Center co-tenants.
Knicks 113, Raptors 110
NEW YORK (AP) – Raymond Felton’s tiebreaking 3-pointer bounced on the rim five times and finally went in with 2.7 seconds left, giving New York a victory over Toronto that extended its winning streak to six.
Amare Stoudemire pushed his 30-point streak to six games in sensational fashion, scoring 18 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter and grabbing 14 rebounds. His jumper gave New York a 110-107 lead with 57 seconds remaining and sparked “MVP!” chants at Madison Square Garden.
But after Andrea Bargnani tied it with a 3, Felton launched his 3 that also hit the backboard once after Stoudemire couldn’t get free. The point guard finished with 28 points and 11 assists, scoring 20 in the first half to carry the Knicks before Stoudemire got rolling.
Bargnani had a career-high 41 points but wasn’t close on a desperation 3 just before the buzzer in the Raptors’ third straight loss.
Danilo Gallinari scored 20 for the Knicks, who have won 11 of 12 and improved to 14-9, their best mark since finishing the 2000-01 season 48-34. Their six-game winning streak is their longest since also winning six straight in January 2006.
Bulls 88, Cavaliers 83
CLEVELAND (AP) – Derrick Rose scored 29 points, including a three-point play that put Chicago ahead for good with 19.6 seconds to play, and the Bulls handed Cleveland its sixth straight loss.
The losing streak matches Cleveland’s longest since it dropped six in a row from Nov. 28 to Dec. 8, 2007.
Cleveland coach Byron Scott shuffled his lineup in an effort to stop the skid, but the Cavaliers fell short. Antawn Jamison, one of the players moved into a starting role, scored 21 to lead Cleveland
Luol Deng and Joakim Noah had 13 points apiece for Chicago, which has won three straight.
Thanks to a snowstorm that hit the area and snarled downtown traffic, several Cavaliers players got to the arena later than usual. All showed up before tip-off.
Bucks 97, Pacers 95
MILWAUKEE (AP) – Andrew Bogut tipped in an inbounds pass from Luc Richard Mbah a Moute as time expired, lifting Milwaukee over Indiana.
With 0.5 seconds left, Mbah a Moute made a perfect pass that just missed the rim, but allowed Bogut to deflect it in for the winning points.
Bogut finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
The Bucks have won six in a row over the Pacers, including the last five at the Bradley Center.
Danny Granger had 26 points for Indiana, including a 17-foot jumper with 33.9 seconds left that tied the game at 95.
Brandon Jennings had 22 points for the Bucks and Ersan Ilyasova added a season-high 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Thunder 111, Timberwolves 103
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Kevin Durant scored 30 points, including 20 in the second half, and grabbed 11 rebounds as Oklahoma City came from 19 points down to beat Minnesota.
Russell Westbrook added 25 points and eight assists as the Thunder recovered from their worst shooting performance of the season with one of their best. Thabo Sefolosha had 13 points for Oklahoma City, which is 11-1 this season in games decided by seven points or fewer.
Kevin Love posted his eighth straight double-double with 22 points and 21 rebounds for Minnesota, giving him five of the NBA’s 10 20-20 efforts this season. Michael Beasley scored 26 points, but went 1 for 5 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter, as the Timberwolves lost for the ninth time in 10 games.
Hornets 93, Pistons 74
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – David West scored 25 points, Chris Paul had 14 assists and New Orleans beat Detroit to win its first game since the NBA announced its impending takeover of the club.
West had 23 in the first three quarters as the Hornets built a commanding lead that was never threatened in the final period by Detroit, which has lost six of its last seven and dropped to 2-11 on the road.
Marco Belinelli made four 3-pointers and finished with a season-high 22 points, while Emeka Okafor added 14 points as the Hornets earned their third win in nine games.
Ben Gordon led Detroit with 16 points in a reserve role, while Rodney Stuckey scored 16 and Richard Hamilton 13.
Spurs 111, Warriors 94
SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Tony Parker had 19 points and nine assists, and San Antonio beat Golden State to set a franchise record for the best start to a season.
DeJuan Blair added 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Spurs (18-3), who have won their last 25 games against the Warriors. It was Blair’s third double-double of the season.
Reggie Williams made eight 3-pointers and finished with 31 points for Golden State, which has dropped five straight and 10 of 11. Monta Ellis added 19 points.
The Warriors also lost Stephen Curry in the second quarter to a sprained right ankle. The second-year guard was helped off the court by teammates and did not return.
San Antonio shot 51 percent and put six players in double figures. Tim Duncan finished with eight points in just 17 minutes.
Grizzlies 104, Suns 98, OT
PHOENIX (AP) – Zach Randolph scored a season-high 34 points, Rudy Gay had 22 and Memphis rallied to beat Phoenix in overtime.
Mike Conley had 11 points and a career-high 14 assists for the Grizzlies, who earned their first road win since Nov. 6 at Sacramento. They had dropped their previous six games away from home.
Gay sent the game to overtime with a 3-pointer just before the regulation buzzer.
Randolph, who made 15 of 19 shots from the field and also grabbed 17 rebounds, had the key basket in OT, making a turnaround bank shot to give Memphis a 98-96 lead with 2:30 left.
Kings 116, Wizards 91
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Beno Udrih scored 23 points, Jason Thompson had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and Sacramento snapped an eight-game losing streak by beating Washington.
Wizards guard John Wall sat out with a sore foot. He was announced as a starter by the public address announcer but never left the bench.
That wiped out what was supposed to be the first NBA meeting between Wall and his college teammate at Kentucky, DeMarcus Cousins. Wall was selected first overall in this year’s draft, and Cousins went No. 5 to Sacramento. Both entered the draft after their freshman season.
Cousins started the game and finished with 10 points, five rebounds and five fouls in 24 minutes.
Al Thornton had 20 points for Washington and Gilbert Arenas added 19. The loss was the third straight and seventh in eight games for the Wizards, who are 0-11 on the road.