BOSTON (AP) -Kevin Garnett scored 30 points, sinking the final two to an ``M-V-P!'' chant echoing through the new Boston Garden, and Paul Pierce had 12 of his 27 in the fourth quarter to lead the Celtics to a 117-97 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.
Kendrick Perkins had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Ray Allen had 14 points and eight assists for Boston, which snapped a two-game losing streak. Rajon Rondo scored 14 with six rebounds and six assists while frustrating Shaquille O'Neal into a technical foul as Boston turned a tie game into a double-digit lead in the third.
Amare Stoudemire scored 32 and O'Neal had 16 with seven rebounds for the Suns, who have lost two straight since a seven-game winning streak put them in position to challenge the Lakers for first place in the Pacific Division.
Hornets 100, Cavaliers 99
CLEVELAND (AP) - David West's 17-foot jumper, coming on Chris Paul's 20th assist, with less than a second left gave the New Orleans Hornets their fifth straight win.
Cleveland inbounded the ball to James, whose 75-foot heave at the horn bounced off the 24-second clock at the other end.
Peja Stojakovic scored 25 points - 18 on 3-pointers - and West added 20 points for the Hornets, who came in with the Western Conference's best record and improved to 2-0 on a six-game road trip against Eastern Conference teams.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored a season-high 29 points with 15 rebounds for Cleveland, which had its nine-game home winning streak end.
Bobcats 108, Lakers 95
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Jason Richardson had 34 points and 10 rebounds, and the Bobcats stunned the Lakers 108-95 in a game where Kobe Bryant drew two technical fouls in a span of 29 seconds late in the fourth quarter and was ejected.
The loss dropped the Lakers (49-23) into a three-way tie for second place in the Western Conference with Houston and San Antonio. They trail the New Orleans Hornets by one game.
Matt Carroll added 18 points and Gerald Wallace had 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Bobcats (26-56), who won for just the second time in eight games and snapped a six-game road losing streak.
Raymond Felton added 13 points and 10 assists and Emeka Okafor had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Charlotte, which outrebounded the Lakers 52-40.
Hawks 115, Bucks 96
ATLANTA (AP) - Joe Johnson scored 28 points, Josh Childress added 20 and the Atlanta Hawks maintained the eighth and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
The Hawks also escaped a major scare when X-rays on point guard Mike Bibby's left thumb were negative. Bibby left the game in the fourth quarter and didn't return, but trainer Wally Blase said he had a strain and would be listed as day-to-day.
Andrew Bogut led the Bucks with 27 points and nine rebounds, but the 7-foot center left the game after Williams accidentally hit him in the face midway through the fourth.
Raptors 89, Pistons 82
TORONTO (AP) - Chris Bosh scored 21 points and T.J. Ford had 13 points and nine assists in his return to the starting lineup for the Raptors.
Rasho Nesterovic had 15 points and Jose Calderon 13 as Toronto won for just the fourth time in 15 games. The Raptors avoided falling below .500 for the first time since a Nov. 24 loss at Cleveland dropped them to 6-7.
Chauncey Billups scored 24 points, and Rodney Stuckey, including 14 in the fourth, had 16 for Detroit, which has lost three of four.
Knicks 103, Heat 96, OT
NEW YORK (AP) - Jamal Crawford scored 24 points, including the go-ahead jumper with about 2 1/2 minutes left in overtime, and the New York Knicks ended their longest home losing streak in nearly 45 years.
Zach Randolph had 16 points and 14 rebounds, and David Lee added 15 points and 16 boards for the Knicks, who had dropped a franchise record-tying seven in a row at home for the first time since Nov. 26-Dec. 17, 1963. New York has never dropped eight in a row at home during one season.
Ricky Davis finished with 28 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Pacers.
76ers 121, Bulls 99
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Lou Williams scored 23 points and Andre Miller had a season-high 18 assists for the 76ers.
The Sixers dominated early and led by 22 in the first half en route to their 19th victory in their last 24 games. The Sixers (37-35) are two games over .500 for the first time all season, have won 11 of 12 at home and are 11-2 in March to charge up the East standings.
Thabo Sefolosha led the Bulls with 20 points.
Nets 124, Pacers 117
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Devin Harris had 22 points and a career-best 15 assists and the New Jersey Nets kept pace with Atlanta for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
Vince Carter added 22 points and a season-high 14 rebounds, Josh Boone had a career-best 26 points and Richard Jefferson added 20 as New Jersey (31-41) remained a half-game behind the Hawks (31-40) in the playoff chase.
Mike Dunleavy had 33 points, seven assists and six rebounds to lead the Pacers (29-43), who trail the Hawks by 2 1/2 games after losing their second straight.
Rockets 97, Timberwolves 86
HOUSTON (AP) - Tracy McGrady scored 10 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and Luis Scola had 18 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for the Houston Rockets. McGrady also had 11 rebounds and nine assists to help the Rockets keep pace in the tight Western Conference race.
Al Jefferson had 21 and 10 rebounds for Minnesota, which had won four of its last six.
Spurs 97, Clippers 88
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Tim Duncan had 26 points and 12 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs withstood a late rally from the Los Angeles Clippers. It was the fifth straight victory for the Spurs, who are in fifth place in the Western Conference and have a 1 1/2-game lead over the Phoenix Suns.
Corey Maggette scored 22 points for Los Angeles, which has lost nine in a row and is out of playoff contention.
Wizards 104, SuperSonics 99
SEATTLE (AP) - Reserve Roger Mason pumped in five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter in leading the Wizards. Mason, averaging 8.6 points coming in, finished with 22 points. He matched his career high with six 3-pointers.
Caron Butler had 21 points; he's averaging 27.8 points in his last seven games against the Sonics.
Kevin Durant scored 32 points for the Sonics. Damien Wilkins and Jeff Green each contributed 13 points, while Nick Collison matched his career high with 21 rebounds.
Kings 107, Grizzlies 106, OT
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Kevin Martin scored 36 points and made two free throws in the closing seconds of overtime. With the shot clock running down, Martin drove the lane and was fouled by Mike Miller, who fouled out on the play. Martin made two free throws with 7.6 seconds remaining.
After a timeout, Kyle Lowry drove to the basket and flipped up an off-balance shot that never hit the rim.
Ron Artest had 24 points and six steals for the Kings, who have beaten the Grizzlies 19 straight games at Arco Arena. Brad Miller contributed 15 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists.
Hakim Warrick had 26 points and eight rebounds for Memphis, which committed 24 turnovers.

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