NBA roundup: Pierce scores 34 as Celtics top Mavs in 2OT
BOSTON — Rajon Rondo had a chance to win it in regulation and Derek Fisher got enough of the shot to keep it from travelling more than a few feet.
Then Paul Pierce’s shot at a game-winner at the end of the first overtime was blocked by Dahntay Jones.
There was still plenty of time for Pierce and Rondo to come through.
Pierce made a 3-pointer at the start of the second extra period to give Boston the lead for good, and the Celtics held on for a 117-115 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.
Pierce scored 34 points in all, and Rondo had 16 points, 15 assists and nine rebounds in a career-high 52 minutes, 30 seconds.
“We ask him to do a lot,” Pierce said of Rondo. “We ask him to push it up, score and rebound. We ask him to do a lot because he can do it.”
Pierce had four points in the first overtime — putting him over 23,000 points in his career — and eight in the second. Rondo, who played the entire first OT and all but 2 seconds of the second, had the only other basket in the second overtime before Courtney Lee made a pair of free throws with 6 seconds to play.
“I thought the biggest mistake I made was leaving Rondo in that long,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “I thought that had an impact on the speed of the game.”
Kevin Garnett added 16 points for Boston, and Jason Terry had 10 points against the team he played with for eight seasons.
O.J. Mayo scored 24 points for Dallas, and Shawn Marion had 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Mayo, who played 51:55, also had nine of the Mavericks’ 28 turnovers.
“I wasn’t tired at all. You just can’t turn the ball over. Look at the stats, man: nine turnovers out of 28,” he said. “We had plenty of opportunities to take control of that game and win. We’ve got to be better in that area. We just can’t turn the ball over.”
Boston led by 14 in the third quarter and eight after the first basket in the fourth before Dallas chipped away at the deficit and tied it at 92 on Darren Collison’s drive to the basket. After Rondo made a jumper, Fisher hit a 3-pointer with 1:47 left in the fourth to give the Mavericks their first lead of the game.
Pierce came out in the second overtime and hit a 3 to make it 108-105. Mayo’s basket made it a one-point game and the tired teams struggled to score until Rondo drove to the basket to give Boston a 110-107 lead with 36 seconds to play.
From there, Dallas was forced to foul.
Pierce sank one of two free throws and Vince Carter hit a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left to make it 111-110. Pierce hit another pair of foul shots and Collison hit two free throws before Pierce and Courtney Lee each made two.
Mayo hit a meaningless 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it a two-point final margin.
The Celtics never trailed, opening a six-point lead in the first quarter and leading by as many as 10 in the second before Dallas scored 8 of the last 11 points in the half to head into the break down just 48-43.
Boston opened a 14-point lead early in the third quarter before the Mavericks scored 10 of the next 12 points. After Rondo drove to the basket to give Boston a 78-70 lead with the first score of the fourth quarter, the Mavericks went on a 7-2 run — five of those points coming from Mayo — to make it a three-point game.
THUNDER 92, HORNETS 88
OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant scored 35 points and Oklahoma City extended its winning streak to nine games with a victory over New Orleans.
The Thunder rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit and matched their longest win streak since the franchise moved from Seattle.
At 18-4, the Thunder also matched the second-best start in franchise history. Seattle started 20-2 in the 1993-94 season and the Thunder started 18-4 last season.
Brian Roberts scored 16 points to lead the Hornets, who lost their fifth straight game overall and seventh straight against Oklahoma City.
CLIPPERS 100, BOBCATS 94
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Chris Paul had 19 points and 10 assists to help the Clippers extend their longest win streak in two decades to eighth with a victory over Charlotte.
Blake Griffin and Matt Barnes also scored 19 points for the Clippers, who maintained sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division.
Byron Mullens had 19 points and eight rebounds, and Kemba Walker chipped in with 17 points to lead the stumbling Bobcats, who have lost nine straight since starting the season 7-5.
The Bobcats trailed 78-71 entering the fourth quarter and got as close as three before Barnes scored on a fast break dunk and hit a 3-pointer to push the lead back to eight.
NETS 94, RAPTORS 88
TORONTO — Joe Johnson scored 23 points, and Andray Blatche had 14 points and nine rebounds to help Brooklyn end a five-game losing streak with a win over Toronto.
C.J. Watson scored 16 points and Deron Williams added 12 as the Nets won for the first time since Nov. 30 at Orlando.
Former Raptors Reggie Evans and Kris Humphries both had big games for the Nets. Evans had nine points and 11 rebounds, while Humphries scored 11 points, making nine of 10 free throws.
Ed Davis matched his career high with 24 points and added 12 rebounds, while Jose Calderon had 10 points and 15 assists for the Raptors, who have lost six straight and 12 of 13.
JAZZ 99, SPURS 96
SALT LAKE CITY — Mo Williams hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to help Utah snap San Antonio’s winning streak at five.
Paul Millsap led Utah with 24 points and 12 rebounds, Al Jefferson scored 21 points and Gordon Hayward added 19.
The Jazz trailed by eight with a little more than 4 minutes remaining. Williams’ winning shot was his only 3 of the night and he finished with eight points on 3-for-9 shooting from the field.
Tim Duncan and Tony Parker each scored 22 points to lead the Spurs, who swept the Jazz out of the playoffs in the first round and had won 11 of the last 12 meetings.
SUNS 82, GRIZZLIES 80
PHOENIX — Goran Dragic made a short hook shot from the left baseline with 0.5 seconds remaining to help Phoenix snap a seven-game losing streak with a win over Memphis.
Dragic had 12 points, and Shannon Brown and Jared Dudley scored 15 each for the Suns, who won for the first time since Nov. 27 at Cleveland.
Rudy Gay had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Zach Randolph added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who lost consecutive games for the first time this season.
A lob attempt off an inbound pass by the Grizzlies was broken up by a pair of Phoenix defenders as time expired.
BULLS 96, 76ERS 89
PHILADELPHIA — Joakim Noah scored 21 points, and Luol Deng added 19 points and 12 rebounds to help Chicago win its fourth in a row on the road with a victory over Philadelphia.
Less than 24 hours after losing to the Los Angeles Clippers by five points at United Center, the Bulls traveled to Philadelphia and appeared more rested than the Sixers, who had Tuesday off.
Marco Belinelli had 16 points and Nate Robinson, starting in place of guard Kirk Hinrich, had 14 for Chicago. Hinrich injured his left knee in the loss to the Clippers and is listed as day-to-day.
Jrue Holiday scored 26 points, Evan Turner added 16 and Thaddeus Young 13 for Philadelphia. Reserve Spencer Hawes chipped in with 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Nick Young also scored 10.
BUCKS 98, KINGS 85
MILWAUKEE — Brandon Jennings scored 19 points, and Monta Ellis had 17 points and 11 assists to lead Milwaukee past Sacramento.
Ersan Ilyasova added 16 points and a season-high 14 rebounds, and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute scored a season-high 17 in his first start of the season for Milwaukee (11-9), which has its best 20-game start since 2005-06.
Tyreke Evans had 17 points in his return to Sacramento’s lineup after missing three straight games — and five of six — with a sore left knee. John Salmons added 16 points. The Kings were without center DeMarcus Cousins, who was suspended one game for striking Dallas’ O.J. Mayo in the groin.
PACERS 96, CAVALIERS 81
INDIANAPOLIS — Paul George scored 27 points to help Indiana overcame a 16-point deficit in a win over Cleveland.
David West added 18 points and nine rebounds, and George Hill scored 17 points for the Pacers, who snapped a two-game skid.
Indiana, third in the NBA in scoring defense and No. 1 in opponent field-goal percentage coming in, held the Cavaliers to 23 points on 8-for-41 shooting in the second half — Cleveland’s lowest-scoring half of the season.
C.J. Miles had 28 points, while Kyrie Irving was held to nine on 4-for-12 shooting for the Cavs.
TIMBERWOLVES 108, NUGGETS 105
MINNEAPOLIS — Nikola Pekovic had 22 points and 11 rebounds and Minnesota used a big advantage at the free throw line to overcome Kevin Love’s shooting struggles and beat Denver.
Love finished with eight points on 3-for-17 shooting and grabbed 14 rebounds on a day he had to explain to Minnesota’s owner and his teammates some critical comments he made about the franchise.
The Timberwolves shot under 40 percent for much of the game, but made 30 of 37 from the free throw line. The Nuggets were just 14 of 24 at the line.
Kenneth Faried had 26 points and 14 rebounds for the road-weary Nuggets, who missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer that would have tied the game.
HAWKS 86, MAGIC 80
ORLANDO, Fla. — Josh Smith and Jeff Teague scored 16 points apiece, Al Horford added 13 points and 13 rebounds, and Atlanta Hawks held off a late charge to beat Orlando.
Atlanta extended its regular-season win streak against Orlando to eight with its second win over the Magic this season.
Arron Afflalo scored 16 points and J.J. Redick added 13 for the Magic, who were able to dig out of a huge first-half hole couldn’t overcome 16 turnovers that led to 24 points.
Orlando also struggled from the field, connecting on only 31 of 81 shots, in dropping its fourth straight home game. The Magic get a chance to end the skid Friday against Golden State.
ROCKETS 99, WIZARDS 93
HOUSTON — James Harden scored 31 points and Houston got its first victory under coach Kevin McHale Rockets in over a month with a win over Washington.
The Wizards threatened late in the fourth quarter, but Chandler Parsons scored eight straight points for Houston in the final three minutes, including two 3-pointers, to secure the victory. Parsons finished with 18 points and eight rebounds.
It was Houston’s first victory since McHale rejoined the team last Saturday following the death of his 23-year-old daughter. Alexandra “Sasha” McHale died Nov. 24 of complications from Lupus.
Rookie Bradley Beal had 20 points to lead Washington.
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