The unbeaten Boston Celtics won their eighth straight game when Paul Pierce hit a layup with 25 seconds remaining to secure a 92-91 victory over the Miami Heat.
|Kevin Garnett (l) gets up close and |
personal with Ricky Davis [GALLO/GETTY]
Kevin Garnett chipped in with 26 points and 11 rebounds as the Celtics started the season 8-0 for the first time since 1972.
The Heat's Dwayne Wade missed a contested jump shot that would have won the game as time expired after Boston's James Posey, a former Miami team mate, pressured him on the play.
"’Pose’ just stepped up," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said.
"I think it helped having played with him, but Wade with the ball is not a pleasant thing for a coach. Let's just be honest. He makes so many of them."
The Heat had roared back from a 15-point, fourth-quarter deficit to take the lead at 91-90 on Udonis Haslem's free throw with 33 seconds on the clock.
But Pierce, who had 12 points, worked his way inside for the winning basket.
"Truthfully, I was surprised coach called the play for me," Pierce remarked.
"I've been struggling with a strain in my back but he still has tremendous confidence in me, in all of us, and I wanted to be there for my teammates at the end."
Ray Allen added 19 points, Posey 13 and Rajon Rondo had nine points and 10 assists for the Celtics.
Wade, making his first start after knee and shoulder surgery in the offseason, led Miami (1-8) with 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting.
Ricky Davis scored 20 and Shaquille O'Neal had 17 points and nine rebounds.
Cleveland 99 – Utah 94
LeBron James scored 34 of his 40 points in the second half and the Cleveland Cavaliers ended the Utah Jazz's five-game winning streak with a 99-94 home win.
James, who also had 10 rebounds and nine assists, blocked a key shot by Carlos Boozer with 12 seconds to go and Cleveland ahead by two. Boozer finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds.
Los Angeles Lakers 103- Detroit 91
The Los Angeles Lakers scored 41 points in the fourth quarter to overtake the Detroit Pistons for a 103-91 home victory.
Lamar Odom had 25 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers with Kobe Bryant adding 19 points and seven assists.
Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince each had 16 points for the Pistons.
San Antonio 90 - Houston 84
San Antonio's Tim Duncan blocked a shot by Houston's Yao Ming with nine seconds remaining as the Spurs beat the Rockets 90-84.
Duncan finished with 25 points and 13 rebounds.
Luis Scola scored 20 points for the Rockets, who played without injured high scorer Tracy McGrady.
Yao had 14 points and nine rebounds.
Orlando 95 – New Jersey 70
The Orlando Magic won their sixth straight road game, stopping the depleted New Jersey Nets 95-70 behind Dwight Howard's 21 points and 19 rebounds.
Jason Kidd had 19 rebounds, 11 points and 10 assists for the Nets, who lost their fourth in a row and shot only 29.8 per cent.
Philadelphia 92 – Portland 88
The Philadelphia 76ers rebounded from a 25-point first-half deficit to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 92-88.
Louis Williams scored 19 second-half points to spark the 76ers, who missed 15 consecutive shots in the first half.
Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 25 points each.