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Tuesday, 23 December 2008 18:28
NBA Headline News

 BOSTON (AP) -The Boston Celtics set a franchise record with their 19th consecutive victory, getting 18 points apiece from Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 110-91 on Tuesday night.
Kendrick Perkins had eight points and 11 rebounds, and Ray Allen scored 16 as the Celtics starters watched from the bench while reserves Leon Powe and Eddie House helped expand the lead in the fourth quarter. The crowd began chanting ``Beat L.A!'' with 5:27 left in the fourth, anticipating the Christmas Day NBA finals rematch against the Lakers.
The Celtics improved to 27-2 - the best start for a two-loss team in NBA history. And the 19-game winning streak broke the Celtics record set by the original Big Three in 1981-82.
Louis Williams had 16 points and eight assists, and Samuel Dalembert scored eight points with 13 boards for the Sixers.
Cavaliers 99, Rockets 90
CLEVELAND (AP) - LeBron James scored 27 points - 18 in the second half- and Mo Williams added 23 as Cleveland remained the NBA's only undefeated team at home with a win over Houston.
d to 23-2 in their last 25 games and 14-0 at home. They did it against the Western Conference's best road team - Houston had won 11 straight road games against Eastern Conference teams dating to last season.
James punctuated Cleveland's 14th straight win at Quicken Loans Arena - and a heated game - by pinning Yao Ming's layup attempt to the backboard in the final minute. James sneaked up behind the unsuspecting 7-foot-6 center and slammed his shot to the glass before screaming in the Chinese star's direction.
The Cavs are the first team to win their first 14 home games since Chicago and Orlando did it in 1995-96.
Rafer Alston scored 20 points and Yao, who spent most of the night in foul trouble, had 19 - 13 on free throws - for the Rockets, who had their four-game winning streak stopped. Alston was back after missing four games with a strained hamstring.
Lakers 100, Hornets 87
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Kobe Bryant scored 26 points, Pau Gasol added 20 and Los Angeles beat New Orleans in a performance that was more dominant than the final score indicated.
Using swarming defense to bottle up Chris Paul for much of the game, the Lakers stormed to a 19-point halftime lead and led by 20 after Bryant's jumper over James Posey early in the fourth quarter.
ending champion Boston Celtics, who visit Los Angeles (23-5) for a much-anticipated Christmas Day contest.
Paul finished with 17 points and 10 assists for the Hornets, who had won 11 of 13 and were looking to move closer to the Lakers in the Western Conference.
Pistons 104, Bulls 98
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - Rodney Stuckey scored 40 points, topping his previous career high by 13, and Detroit overcame an injury to Allen Iverson in a victory over Chicago.
Stuckey helped the Pistons end a two-game skid and improve to 11-11 since Iverson joined the team. The star guard managed only five points in this one, however, sitting out most of the second half with a groin strain. He shot 0-for-7 from the field and made five of six free throws.
Tayshaun Prince had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Detroit. Richard Hamilton scored 14, while Antonio McDyess added 10 points and 11 rebounds off the bench.
Larry Hughes led the Bulls with 19 points, while Andres Nocioni had 18 before fouling out.
Nets 108, Pacers 107
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Devin Harris' jumper from the top of the key as time expired gave New Jersey a victory over Indiana.
The Pacers had just taken the lead on a jumper from the free-throw line by Danny Granger with 10 seconds to play.
and eight rebounds.
Granger led the Pacers with 26 points in his first game back after missing two games with a viral infection. Brandon Rush scored a career-high 22 points, and Jeff Foster added 12 points and 14 rebounds.
It was New Jersey's first win against the Pacers this season in three tries.
Hawks 99, Thunder 88
ATLANTA (AP) - Joe Johnson had his second career triple-double, and Marvin Williams scored 21 points in Atlanta's victory over Oklahoma City.
Johnson had 20 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. His follow shot with 32 seconds left before halftime made it 44-43 and gave Atlanta the lead for good.
Kevin Durant scored 28 points for the Thunder, who have lost two straight and 10 of 11. Oklahoma City fell to 1-13 on the road and 3-26 overall despite a combined 26 rebounds by Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox.
The Hawks have won three straight and six of seven.
Bobcats 80, Wizards 72
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Emeka Okafor had 29 points and 18 rebounds, and Charlotte pulled away in the fourth quarter to send reeling Washington to the worst start in franchise history.
Caron Butler's 31 points weren't enough for the woeful Wizards, who dropped to 4-22, the worst record after 26 games in the team's 48-year history.
harlotte, where he was the expansion Bobcats' team president for three years.
Gerald Wallace added 16 points for the Bobcats, who won an ugly game befitting the two worst teams in the Eastern Conference. Charlotte overcame 42 percent shooting and 18 turnovers for its 10th win.
Heat 96, Warriors 88
MIAMI (AP) - Dwyane Wade had 32 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, Daequan Cook scored 15 of his 20 points to spark a second-quarter comeback, and Miami matched last season's win total by beating injury-depleted Golden State.
Udonis Haslem scored 16 points and Shawn Marion finished with a Heat season-high 16 rebounds as Miami reached the 15-win mark in 27 games - 55 fewer than it needed to get there last season as the NBA's worst team.
C.J. Watson scored 18 points for Golden State, which has lost 16 of 19. The Warriors were without Heat nemesis Jamal Crawford, ruled out shortly before tip-off with a strained left groin.
Stephen Jackson (hand), Monta Ellis (ankle) and Corey Maggette (hamstring) also remain sidelined for Golden State (8-22), off to its worst 30-game start since the 1999-2000 team opened 6-24.
Bucks 94, Jazz 86
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Michael Redd scored 27 points and Milwaukee won its fifth straight at home by beating short-handed Utah.
finished 2-3 on their five-game road trip.
Luke Ridnour had 11 points, 11 assists and six steals for Milwaukee.
Andrei Kirilenko scored a season-high 22 off the bench for Utah. Deron Williams added 17 points, eight assists and eight rebounds, but had seven of Utah's 24 turnovers.
The Jazz were playing without center Mehmet Okur, who sat out with back spasms, and forward Carlos Boozer, who missed his 18th straight with a strained left quad tendon.
Mavericks 100, Grizzlies 82
DALLAS (AP) - Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points, Jason Terry added 17 and Dallas stretched its winning streak against Memphis to 13 games.
Josh Howard added 14 points, and Erick Dampier contributed 13 points and nine rebounds for the Mavericks, who have won 14 of 18.
Hakim Warrick had 17 points, and Rudy Gay added 16 points and nine rebounds for the Grizzlies. Memphis pulled to 89-80 with 3:40 left, but Nowitzki answered with a three-point play.
Spurs 99, Timberwolves 93
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Tony Parker scored 36 points on 13-of-17 shooting to lead San Antonio over Minnesota, handing the Timberwolves their 13th consecutive loss.
Minnesota (4-23) is closing in on the franchise record of 16 consecutive defeats. The Timberwolves trailed by 16 heading into the fourth quarter and cut it to three with just less than three minutes left before the Spurs put it away.
Spurs guard Manu Ginobili, who missed the first 12 games of the season because of left ankle surgery, limped slightly to the sideline with about four minutes left. But he returned less than two minutes later and played until 15 seconds remained in the game.
 

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