|Celtics win 10th straight, overshadowed by Rockets' near-record run of 20|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 13 March 2008 00:17|
Not half bad.
Boston's 111-82 win Wednesday night over the Seattle SuperSonics gave the Celtics their best run in nearly 22 years, but the Rockets have no one between them and the Lakers' NBA record after bumping off Atlanta 83-75.
The Rockets are the first team in 36 years to win 20 in a row, tying the league's second-longest streak. The only one better? The run of 33 put together by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers a season after Milwaukee also won 20 straight.
For Boston, though, reaching 10 wins in a row was special enough.
Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen each scored 18 points for the Celtics, who also won their 11th straight at home.
``We are talking more than ever and we feel connected,'' Garnett said. ``Any team can beat you in this league, but confidence-wise we are strong 1 to 12 and that is a rarity.''
Paul Pierce added 14 points and 11 assists for the Celtics, who have their longest win streak since a 14-game run from March 11-April 4, 1986.
``We are playing well on both ends,'' Pierce said. ``We like to share the ball and its contagious and are riding the wave at just the right time.''
In other NBA games Wednesday night, it was: Orlando 110, the Los Angeles Clippers 88; New York 91, Miami 88; New Jersey 104, Cleveland 99; Philadelphia 83, Detroit 82; Utah 114, Milwaukee 110; New Orleans 100, San Antonio 75; Dallas 118, Charlotte 93; Denver 108, Memphis 86; Golden State 117, Toronto 106.
Rookie Kevin Durant scored 16 points for the Sonics, who have lost six straight and 10 of 11. Seattle has allowed 112 points per game during its losing streak.
``They're getting ready for the playoffs and everybody knows that,'' Sonics forward Donyell Marshall said. ``We know we're going home, but we have to learn from this.''
In Atlanta, a basket by the Hawks' Marvin Williams with 5 seconds left in the game ended the Rockets' streak of 10 straight wins by 10 or more points. Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 28 points, and Josh Smith had 16 points and a career-high 22 rebounds.
The Rockets pulled within one game of the Lakers for the best record in the Western Conference. Houston has not lost since Jan. 27 against Utah, and is 7-0 since losing Yao Ming to a foot injury on Feb. 26.
Tracy McGrady scored 21 of his 28 points in the second half after Houston trailed 33-32 at halftime, the Rockets' lowest scoring first half of the season.
``We're really happy with this win because we didn't play well in the first half,'' McGrady said. ``This is a pretty ugly game tonight. We didn't shoot well and it was one of those games that our defense really had to win for us.''
Houston led only 71-70 with 5 minutes remaining, before using a 10-0 run - including five points by McGrady - to take control.
``It may be the ugliest thing we've done, but it might have been the best one,'' Rockets coach Rick Adelman said, ``the way we fought through it.''
Nets 104, Cavaliers 99
Richard Jefferson scored 24 points, and New Jersey overcame LeBron James' 42 points to hold off visiting Cleveland and snap a six-game losing streak.
Bostjan Nachbar added 21 points and Devin Harris had 19, including three buckets in the last four-plus minutes after Cleveland had cut a 19-point lead to one.
Magic 110, Clippers 88
Dwight Howard had his league-leading 57th double-double of the season with 22 points and 13 rebounds for host Orlando.
The Magic improved to 24-0 when holding teams under 95 points.
Corey Maggette scored 22 points for Los Angeles, which has lost nine of 11.
Knicks 91, Heat 88
At Miami, Jamal Crawford scored 23 points, and New York wasted most of a 14-point fourth-quarter lead before holding on to snap a seven-game losing streak.
The Heat lost for the 33rd time in 36 games and extended the NBA's worst record to 11-52. Ricky Davis led Miami with 27 points.
76ers 83, Pistons 82
Andre Iguodala scored 22 points and visiting Philadelphia didn't score in the final 2:27, but won when Chauncey Billups' jumper over Rodney Carney bounced off the rim as time expired.
Carney scored 16 points for Philadelphia, and Samuel Dalembert grabbed 15 rebounds.
Hornets 100, Spurs 75
Chris Paul had 26 points and 17 assists to help host New Orleans take a convincing victory over Southwest Division-leading San Antonio.
David West, returning from an ankle injury that sidelined him for three games, had 29 points and 10 rebounds as the Hornets pulled within a half-game of the division lead behind the Spurs and Houston Rockets.
Tim Duncan had 24 points and 11 rebounds for San Antonio.
Jazz 114, Bucks 110
Carlos Boozer had a go-ahead layup with 46.7 left seconds and Utah narrowly avoided another surprising road loss. Deron Williams led the Jazz with 26 points and 13 assists.
Charlie Villanueva and Michael Redd scored 26 points each to lead the Bucks.
Mavericks 118, Bobcats 93
Dirk Nowitzki scored 26 points in 28 minutes, and Josh Howard added 24 points to help host Dallas snap Charlotte's franchise-record five-game winning streak.
Raymond Felton had 21 points to lead the Bobcats, who are 0-8 against the Mavericks.
Nuggets 108, Grizzlies 86
Kenyon Martin scored 23 points, and Carmelo Anthony had 14 points and 13 rebounds for host Denver.
Juan Carlos Navarro had 16 points for Memphis, which has lost 16 straight road games and 17 of its last 19 overall.
Warriors 117, Raptors 106
At Oakland, Calif., Monta Ellis scored 33 points, and Baron Davis had 23 points and 15 assists in Golden State's seventh victory in eight games.
T.J. Ford scored 13 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter for the Raptors, who lost for the sixth time in eight games.