SEATTLE (AP) -Paul Pierce scored 26 of his season-high 37 points in the second half, and Boston held off Seattle 104-96 on Thursday night.
Pierce hit 11 of 27 shots and 10 of 11 free throws. He was dominant in the closing minutes of the third quarter and into the fourth, scoring 14 points in a little more than 7 minutes to help the Celtics win their fourth straight and improve to 24-3.
Kevin Garnett scored 14 of his 23 points in the first half, and Ray Allen added a mostly quiet 10, playing his first game in Seattle since a draft night trade that sent the seven-time All-Star to the Celtics.
Rookie Kevin Durant led Seattle with 25 points and Delonte West, part of the trade that brought Allen to Boston, added 19.
Pierce's previous high this season was 32 against Milwaukee on Dec. 14.
Cavaliers 88, Mavericks 81
DALLAS (AP) - LeBron James had 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to help Cleveland avenge a lopsided loss to Dallas in the season opener.
Through three quarters, Cleveland shot only 36 percent, was 0-for-10 on 3-pointers and had missed 10 free throws - yet led by six points.
Dirk Nowitzki had 19 points and 20 rebounds, his most in a regular-season game since April 2003. Josh Howard added 19 points for the Mavs, who shot 36.5 percent. Jason Terry was 3-for-12 one night after going 0-for-10.
Dallas lost its second straight after winning five in a row. The Mavs fell to 6-6 against the Eastern Conference and have lost 11 games overall, after dropping only 15 last season.
Suns 108, Clippers 88
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Amare Stoudemire had 30 points and 15 rebounds and played stifling defense against Chris Kaman to lead Phoenix.
Stoudemire scored 20 points and had 11 rebounds in the first half as Phoenix opened a 59-40 lead. The Suns built the lead to as many as 36 points, the last time at 79-43 midway through the third quarter as they handed the outmanned Clippers their fifth consecutive loss and 14th in 17 games.
Stoudemire, who left the game with 3:25 to go in the third quarter and didn't return, finished 11-of-14 from the field and 8-of-10 from the free throw line.
Grant Hill and Leandro Barbosa both added 16 points for Phoenix, while Steve Nash had nine points and 12 assists.
Kaman, held to two points on 1-of-11 shooting in the first half, scored seven in the second half and finished with nine rebounds to end his streak of 12 consecutive double-doubles. He went 4-of-17 from the field.
Corey Maggette, back in the lineup after missing a game with a sore right knee, led Los Angeles with 21 points.
End Capsules

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