SCOREBOARD
Friday, Dec. 28
Indiana at Detroit (8 p.m. EST). The Pistons have won six straight and 13 of their past 15.

STARS
Thursday
-Amare Stoudemire, Suns, had 30 points and 15 rebounds to lead Phoenix to a 108-88 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.
-Paul Pierce, Celtics, scored 26 of his season-high 37 points in the second half, and Boston held off Seattle for a 104-96 victory.
-LeBron James, Cavaliers, had 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, helping Cleveland to a 88-81 win at Dallas.

WELCOME BACK
Ray Allen scored 10 points in Boston's 104-96 victory over the SuperSonics on Thursday night. Allen was playing his first game in Seattle since a draft night trade that sent the seven-time All-Star to the Celtics. Allen was given two standing ovations before the game, as Seattle fans sold out KeyArena for one of the few times this season, and recognized Allen's efforts in his 4 1/2 seasons in a Sonics' uniform.

SLUMPING
Phoenix defeated the Clippers 108-88 on Thursday night to hand Los Angeles its fifth straight loss and 14th in 17 games.

PROMOTED
Jim Boylan was promoted Thursday to interim head coach of the Chicago Bulls, who fired Scott Skiles on Monday after the team's disappointing start. Boylan was in his fourth season as an assistant under Skiles and has 14 years experience in the NBA but none as a head coach at the pro level.

SIDELINED
Tracy McGrady will miss Houston's next two games to rest his ailing left knee. McGrady missed the second half of the Rockets' 97-92 loss to Orlando on Dec. 19 with soreness in the knee. He sat out Houston's loss to Denver the next night. An MRI performed on Monday revealed swollen tendons in the knee, but no structural damage.
SPEAKING
``I took some blows tonight. I don't come out of the game. I'm fine. I shake it off and go to the next play. That didn't stop me once I got hit the first time from going back into the interior. It isn't going to stop me.'' - LeBron James after leading the Cavaliers to a 88-81 win at Dallas on Thursday night.

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