The Boston Celtics sent the NBA a clear message: forget about those back-to-back losses.
The Celtics put an emphatic end to their first two-game skid this season, beating the Sacramento Kings 108-63 Sunday night in one of the most lopsided wins in franchise history.
``That's our statement,'' Paul Pierce said. ``We feel like the last couple of games we haven't been living up to what we've been doing most of the year. We wanted to get back to that and establish our defense. I thought we did that.''
The Celtics started their four-game road trip with a franchise-record 19-game winning streak and a 27-2 record that was the best start in NBA history. But the defending NBA champions lost a Christmas showdown against Los Angeles Lakers and then again the following night at Golden State.
After a day off to regroup, the Celtics once again looked like the class of the NBA.
on the court and just did some of the things we've been doing all year long, trying to get a win and play better basketball.''
In other NBA games, it was: Denver 117, New York 110; Dallas 98, L.A. Clippers 76; Cleveland 93, Miami 86; New Orleans 105, Indiana 103; and L.A. Lakers 130, Golden State 113.
The 45-point margin of victory tied the sixth biggest by the Celtics, who also beat the New York Knicks by that amount last season. The last time Boston had a bigger win was a 153-107 victory over the Baltimore Bullets on Nov. 27, 1970.
``I don't even actually know the margin,'' coach Doc Rivers said. ``I never look at that honestly. I don't look at that. I don't even know the score to be honest. I know we won and that's all that counts for us.''
Kevin Garnett made 10 of 11 shots to lead the Celtics with 21 points and 11 rebounds despite playing just under 23 minutes. He now has 20,894 career points, moving past Bob Pettit into 27th place on the career list. Ray Allen added 19 on 7-for-8 shooting and Eddie House had 15 off the bench.
John Salmons' 11 points led the Kings. Francisco Garcia shot 1-for-7 before leaving in the first half with stiffness in his right calf.
ewest allowed by the Celtics. The Kings lost their sixth straight since winning their first under interim coach Kenny Natt and have dropped 16 of 18 overall.
None of the losses was quite as ugly as this one, the most lopsided defeat for Sacramento since losing 153-91 to Golden State on Nov. 2, 1991, and the worst home loss in franchise history. The Kings fell behind 82-42 late in the third quarter and didn't have a single player who made three field goals until Donte Greene's dunk in the final minute.
``This is frustrating going through things like this,'' Kings guard Bobby Jackson said. ``We can't keep making excuses. That's just it. I'm embarrassed. I hope everybody else is embarrassed, too. That was just ridiculous the way we came out and competed tonight. I wouldn't even say competed. We didn't even show up.''
Cavaliers 93, Heat 86
At Cleveland, LeBron James scored 33 points - four more than good buddy Dwyane Wade, the NBA's leading scorer - and Cleveland remained the league's only unbeaten team on its own floor.
minutes.
Mo Williams scored 20 before fouling out and Ben Wallace had 14 rebounds for the Cavs (26-4), who won their sixth straight.
The Heat had their winning streak stopped at four.
Lakers 130, Warriors 113
At Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant scored 31 points and Derek Fisher added 19.
Sasha Vujacic had 17 points, Pau Gasol had 13 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, and Andrew Bynum chipped in with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Jamal Crawford returned to the Warriors' lineup after missing two games with a groin strain and scored 22 points.
Nuggets 117, Knicks 110
At New York, Carmelo Anthony scored 32 points after missing three games with a bruised right elbow.
The Nuggets blew the double-digit lead they seized by making 15 of 20 shots in the second quarter, but recovered behind Anthony's flawless fourth and sent the Knicks to their sixth straight loss.
J.R. Smith added 16 points and Chauncey Billups 14 for the Nuggets, who shot 57 percent from the field.
Nate Robinson scored 20 points and David Lee had 19 for the Knicks.
Mavericks 98, Clippers 76
nd automatic ejection in the fourth quarter of Friday night's loss at Utah.
Marcus Camby returned to the Clippers' lineup after missing the previous game due to his father's death and had 16 points and 12 rebounds. Al Thornton also had 16 points.
Hornets 105, Pacers 103
At Indianapolis, Chris Paul scored 11 points in the final 3:36 and David West made a 17-foot fadeaway jumper with 2.5 seconds remaining.
Paul and James Posey scored 19 points each for the Hornets (18-9). West added 18 points, Rasual Butler scored 15 and Peja Stojakovic had 12.
Danny Granger led Indiana (10-20) with 34 points.

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