BOSTON (AP) -Paul Pierce scored 27 points, Kevin Garnett added 21, and the Boston Celtics moved closer to wrapping up the top record overall by avenging last weekend's loss in New Orleans with a 112-92 win over the Hornets on Friday night.
Eastern-conference leading Boston (57-15) opened its advantage to six games over the idle Detroit Pistons with 10 games left. The Hornets (49-22) had a five-game winning streak halted.
New Orleans, which leads a strongly contested Western Conference, beat Boston 113-106 last Saturday night.
Chris Paul paced the Hornets with 22 points and 10 assists. Peja Stojakovic had 17 points and David West 14.
Hawks 106, Bulls 103
ATLANTA (AP) - Mike Bibby scored 30 points and the Hawks held on after nearly blowing a 22-point lead, giving themselves some breathing room in the Eastern Conference playoff race with a victory over the slumping Bulls.
The Hawks were up 31-12 before some late-arriving fans had even settled in their seats, and they appeared headed for a laugher when Al Horford's dunk made it 72-50 with 7 minutes left in the third quarter.
Not so fast. Led by Ben Gordon, the Bulls twice closed within a point in the final minutes and had a chance to force overtime in the frenetic closing seconds. Gordon, who scored 16 of his 18 points in the fourth, got off a long 3-pointer that rimmed out as the horn sounded.
Luol Deng scored 19 points to lead the Bulls.
Pacers 123, Nets 115
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Danny Granger scored 26 points and the Indiana Pacers beat the New Jersey Nets to halt a two-game losing skid and boost their playoff hopes.
Troy Murphy had 21 points and 17 rebounds for Indiana after missing the previous game with strep throat.
Vince Carter scored 33 points, Devin Harris scored a career-high 27 and Josh Boone had 15 points and 16 rebounds for the Nets, who are just a game ahead of the Pacers after the loss. Both teams are chasing Atlanta for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Suns 107, 76ers 93
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Amare Stoudemire scored 22 points, Raja Bell had 20 and the Suns avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season with a win over the 76ers.
The Suns lost consecutive road games at Detroit and Boston, yet had little problem thrashing the 76ers. Shaquille O'Neal had 15 points and 13 rebounds, Leandro Barbosa scored 17 points and Steve Nash had 10 assists.
Andre Miller had 16 points and 10 assists, Lou Williams scored 15 points and Andre Iguodala had 13 for Philadelphia.
Raptors 103, Knicks 95
TORONTO (AP) - Chris Bosh had 29 points and 10 rebounds, Rasho Nesterovic added 18 points, and the Raptors beat the Knicks.
Rasho Nesterovic had 18 points and Anthony Parker added 15 for the Raptors, who won their second in a row after losing 11 of their previous 14.
Jamal Crawford scored 26 and Jared Jeffries had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who have won just two of their past 15 games.
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