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Celtics teach a Magic lesson
Boston gain ninth straight win of the season as Pierce dominates the third quarter.
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2008 15:17 GMT

Paul Pierce steals the show in the third quarter [GALLO/GETTY]
Paul Pierce scored 17 of his 24 points in the third quarter to lead the Boston Celtics to their ninth straight win, 107-88 over the Orlando Magic.

Ray Allen added 21 points, Rajon Rondo had 16 points with 12 assists and Kevin Garnett scored 15 points for the Celtics (17-2) in a matchup of Eastern Conference division leaders.

Rashard Lewis paced Orlando (13-5) with 30 points.

Hedo Turkoglu had 19 and Dwight Howard, the NBA's leading rebounder, added 14 points with 15 boards.

The Magic had their four-game winning streak snapped.

Orlando had won six straight road games, one short of their club record set at the start of last season.

Pierce, who scored five points in the opening half, carried the Celtics from a two-point halftime edge to a 12-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

Heat 130, Warriors 129, OT

In Oakland, California, Chris Quinn hit a tying 3-pointer with 7.1 seconds left in overtime, Michael Beasley stole the ensuing inbounds pass and made the decisive free throw, and Miami pulled off a wild comeback win over slumping Golden State.

Jamal Crawford missed a running jumper at the buzzer and sprawled himself on the court in frustration as the Warriors dropped their seventh straight game, one they had in their grasp until the waning moments.

Crawford is winless since joining Golden State in a trade from New York on November 21 that sent Al Harrington to the Knicks.

Crawford scored six of his 40 points in overtime and dished out seven assists, but his team fell short again.

Udonis Haslem scored on a putback for Miami at the buzzer to force the extra session.

Bobcats 100, Timberwolves 90

In Charlotte, North Carolina, Jason Richardson scored 25 points in another strong performance following arthroscopic knee surgery, and Charlotte beat error-prone Minnesota.

It was the third straight game of at least 21 points for Richardson since his return after sitting out seven contests following exploratory surgery on his right knee.

He led an efficient offence that included a season-high 24 points from Emeka Okafor, while Raymond Felton added 14 assists with only one turnover.

Randy Foye scored 23 points and Mike Miller added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who were never in sync in their second straight loss.

Top scorer Al Jefferson was held to eight points on 3-of-11 shooting and Minnesota committed 14 of their 18 turnovers in the first half.

It was the end to a bad day for the Timberwolves, who learned in the morning that top defender Corey Brewer will miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Source:
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