Monday, Feb. 11
Portland at Houston (8:30 p.m. EST). Both teams are battling for the eighth playoff spot in the West.

-Paul Pierce, Celtics, scored 35 points and Boston beat San Antonio 98-90.
-Kobe Bryant, Lakers, scored 33 points and Los Angeles beat Miami 104-94.
-Allen Iverson, Nuggets, had 25 points and 13 assists to lead Denver to a 113-83 victory over Cleveland.
-Amare Stoudemire, Suns, scored 31 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in Phoenix's 108-107 win over Washington.

Paul Pierce scored 35 points, Ray Allen had 19, and Rajon Rondo had 12 assists and 11 rebounds Sunday and Boston beat San Antonio 98-90. The Celtics improved to 5-2 since Kevin Garnett went out with an abdominal strain. The Celtics hadn't beaten San Antonio in Boston since Jan. 8, 1997, a streak of nine consecutive losses.

pearance with the Heat, who've lost seven straight games and 22 of their last 23 games - something no Miami team has ever done. The expansion Heat opened 1-21. Miami's only victory since Dec. 22 was a two-point win over Indiana on Jan. 26.

Tayshaun Prince scored 14 of his 21 points in the first quarter and Detroit won its eighth straight game, 113-87 over Charlotte on Sunday night. The Pistons went 5-0 on an 11-day homestand, and were only seriously challenged in the first game, when they beat the Lakers on Prince's late 3-pointer. In the last two games, against Portland and Charlotte, they had leads of at least 24 points in the first half.

Carmelo Anthony scored 27 points, All-Star sidekick Allen Iverson added 25 and Denver rolled to a 113-83 win Sunday night over injury-depleted Cleveland. Anthony improved to 8-2 in his pro career against good friend LeBron James. Denver led by 11 points after one quarter, 18 at halftime and pushed its advantage to 26 by the end of the third, and handed Cleveland its worst home loss since April 5, 2005.

ficit into a 61-42 lead.

Boston forward Kevin Garnett withdrew from the NBA All-Star game Sunday and was replaced on the Eastern Conference roster by Detroit forward Rasheed Wallace. Garnett was averaging 19.2 points and 9.9 rebounds per game before being sidelined two weeks ago after straining a stomach muscle on Jan. 25 against the Timberwolves. He was the leading vote-getter for the All-Star game. Wallace will join teammates Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton for the All-Star game New Orleans. It will be his fourth All-Star appearance. Wallace is averaging 12.9 points and 7.3 rebounds this season, and leads Detroit in blocks and steals.

Amare Stoudemire had 31 points, including two game-clinching free throws with 7.5 seconds to play, and Phoenix handed Washington its seventh straight loss, 108-107 on Sunday night. Antwan Jamison scored 28 points and Brendan Haywood a season-high 21 for the Wizards, who last lost seven in a row from March 5-16, 2004.

LeBron James scored 30 points but Cleveland lost to Denver 113-83. ... Antawn Jamison scored 28 points but Washington lost to Phoenix 108-107. ... Jason Richardson scored 27 points in Charlotte's 113-87 loss to Detroit. ... Tim Duncan had 22 points, 14 rebounds and six assists, in San Antonio's 98-90 loss to Boston.

``I was hoping he would go back to North Carolina.''-Dallas coach Avery Johnson said of Vince Carter after the Mavericks' 101-82 loss to New Jersey. Carter scored 25 of his 29 points after nearly being knocked out by an elbow to the head early in the second quarter by Brandon Bass while trying to steal the ball from the Mavericks' forward. Carter returned with 5:21 left in the half and the Nets ran off 21 straight points to stun Dallas on Sunday night.

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