Celtics end Rockets streak

The Boston Celtics hand Houston their first defeat in 23 games.

    Kevin Garnett slams it down against the Rockets [AFP]
    Kevin Garnett scored 22 points and Paul Pierce added 20 as the Boston Celtics beat the Rockets 94-74, stopping Houston's remarkable victory run at 22 games in the National Basketball Association.

    The Rockets hadn't lost since a 97-89 defeat to Utah on January 27 and put together the NBA's second-longest winning streak.

    It ended 11 victories shy of the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, who won 33 in a row.

    It was only Houston's second loss in 28 games and its fourth since a 97-93 loss in Boston on January 2, a game Tracy McGrady sat out with a knee injury.

    The Rockets also lost for the first time in 11 games since Yao Ming went out with a season-ending foot injury on February 26.

    Luis Scola scored 15 for Houston, which had a 15-game home streak snapped.

    Pistons 136, Nuggets 120

    At Auburn Hills, Michigan, Richard Hamilton scored 24 points, Rasheed Wallace added 21, and Detroit beat Denver.

    The Nuggets were coming off a record-setting 168-116 victory over Seattle, but it was Detroit's offense that took over Tuesday night.

    The Pistons hadn't scored 130 points in regulation since beating Denver 130-116 on March 8, 2000.

    The Pistons scored a season-high 73 points in the first half, getting at least four points from 10 different players.

    Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 27 points, while Allen Iverson had 20 points and 11 assists.

    Denver also had seven players in double figures.

    The Lakers Kobe Bryant drives 
    past Jerry Stackhouse [AFP] 
    Lakers 102, Mavericks 100

    At Dallas, Kobe Bryant scored 29 points and Vladimir Radmanovic scored 10 of his 21 in the final quarter to give Los Angeles just enough to hold off Dallas.

    The Lakers led by 25 points midway through the third quarter, but were up only 101-100 with 4.8 seconds left.

    Derek Fisher made one of two foul shots after that, then Dirk Nowitzki had a chance to win it for Dallas but missed a 3-pointer as time expired.

    Nowitzki had 35 points, 11 rebounds and a season-high five blocks, but the Mavericks' five-game winning streak was snapped. Dallas fell to 0-6 against teams with winning records since adding Jason Kidd.

    Bulls 112, Nets 96

    At Chicago, Luol Deng scored 20 points, and Drew Gooden had 19 points and 11 rebounds as Chicago built a big halftime lead, survived a sluggish third quarter and pulled away to beat New Jersey.

    New Jersey whittled a 24-point halftime deficit to nine early in the fourth quarter, but the Bulls didn't falter. In its previous two games, Chicago squandered final-period leads and lost to the 76ers and Hornets.

    Ben Gordon scored 10 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and Larry Hughes added 16 in Chicago's balanced attack.

    Vince Carter led the Nets with 22 points and Richard Jefferson finished with 21.

    Kings 122, Warriors 105

    At Sacramento, California, Kevin Martin scored 34 points, Ron Artest added 26 and Sacramento snapped a three-game losing streak against Golden State.

    Mikki Moore had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings, who had lost five of their last six in a rivalry they mostly dominated before the Warriors' ascension last season.

    Sacramento lost most of a 23-point lead in the fourth quarter, but rallied in the final minutes to preserve its fourth win in five games overall.

    Baron Davis had 24 points and eight assists for the Warriors, who had won their last two games at Arco Arena with a large number of their Bay Area fans making the 160 kilometre trip.

    Yi Jianlian of the Milwaukee Bucks
    shoots a jumpshot [AFP] 
     Heat 112, Bucks 106

    At Milwaukee, Jason Williams and Ricky Davis had double-doubles, Chris Quinn hit three crucial 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, and Miami snapped an 0-for-March streak by beating Milwaukee.

    Miami had lost eight in a row. Quinn scored 17 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, and the Heat rallied from a 14-point, second-half deficit to hand the Bucks their sixth straight loss.

    Williams finished with 21 points and 10 assists, while Davis had 14 points and 10 assists.

    Earl Barron scored 16 points and Daequan Cook added 12 for Miami, which improved to 6-26 on the road this season, including two wins in its last four away from home.

    Michael Redd scored 18 of his 27 points in the first half for Milwaukee.

    Suns 111, Trail Blazers 98

    At POrtland, Oregon, Amare Stoudemire scored 25 points, Shaquille O'Neal had 16 points and 14 rebounds, and Phoenix beat Portland for its fifth straight win.

    Steve Nash added 22 points and eight assists for the Suns, who remained a game behind the division-leading Los Angeles Lakers in the Pacific Division.

    LaMarcus Aldridge had 31 points and eight rebounds for the Blazers, the sixth game in a row he has topped 20 points. Travis Outlaw had 13 points and Channing Frye and Jarrett Jack each scored 12.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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