76ers end Celtics' run at 11
BOSTON — It's been a streak-busting week for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Days after snapping their own 12-game skid, the 76ers ended Boston's run at 11 wins, beating the first-place Celtics, 98-97, last night on Elton Brand's tip-in with 7.7 seconds left.
"We closed out a game against a team winning 11 in a row, the best in the league," said Brand, who had 23 points and eight rebounds. "It bodes well for our confidence."
The Sixers ran off 12 consecutive losses before beating Golden State on Monday — their sixth win of the season, none of them against teams with a winning record. They had won only once in their previous 14 games and they were without newly acquired Allen Iverson, who has arthritis in his left knee and had it drained twice this week.
So they didn't figure to pose much of a challenge to Boston, which hadn't lost in almost a month and came into the game tied for the best record in the NBA. Boston led by 15 points in the third quarter before Philadelphia took an 86-84 lead — its first since the opening minutes.
Brand tipped in Marreese Speights' missed jumper in the closing seconds, and Paul Pierce missed a jumper at the other end that would have put Boston ahead. Ray Allen was unable to get off a good shot after the rebound.
The Celtics fell to 8-4 at home. They are 12-1 on the road.
"Tough one to swallow," Pierce said. "When you have a team on the ropes like that, especially at home ... we've got to do a better job. I don't know what the problem is about us playing at home this year."
RAPTORS 118, NETS 95
Amir Johnson scored 18 points, Chris Bosh had 16 points and eight rebounds, and five teammates also scored in double figures as host Toronto handed New Jersey its sixth straight loss. The Nets had 16 turnovers in the first half in falling behind, 70-33, at halftime.
HAWKS 96, JAZZ 83
Josh Smith scored 16 points, Marvin Williams added 15, and Atlanta won its sixth straight game and improved to 12-2 at home with a victory over Utah. The Jazz were outscored 30-6 to open the third quarter and trailed 71-42.
KNICKS 95, CLIPPERS 91
David Lee scored 17 of his 25 points in the second half, and host New York rallied from a 20-point deficit to beat Los Angeles. Chris Duhon added 17 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Knicks, who trailed 58-42 at halftime, but outscore d the Clippers, 53-33, in the second half.
HORNETS 98, NUGGETS 92
Chris Paul had 30 points, a season-high 19 assists, and nine rebounds, to lift host New Orleans over Denver to win its second straight. Paul scored 26 points in the second half, and with his assists combined for 41 of the Hornets' 52 points over the final two quarters.
TIMBERWOLVES 112, KINGS 96
Kevin Love put up 20 points and 16 rebounds, his fifth straight double-double and seventh in nine games since returning from a broken left hand, to lead host Minnesota. The Timberwolves led from start to finish for the first time this season to beat the Kings, who fell to an NBA-worst 1-11 on the road.
THUNDER 109, PISTONS 98
Kevin Durant scored 27 points, and a rookie led a fourth-quarter run as host Oklahoma City snapped a three-game losing streak. Rookie James Harden scored Oklahoma City's first seven points of the fourth quarter to help the Thunder stretch their lead to 86-77.
CAVALIERS 85, BUCKS 82
LeBron James scored 26 points, Mo Williams added 17, and host Cleveland hung on to beat Milwaukee for its fifth straight win. Milwaukee rookie Brandon Jennings scored 18 points but fired an air ball on a 3-pointer with 4.5 seconds left that would have tied it.
GRIZZLIES 107, PACERS 94
Zach Randolph had 26 points and 16 rebounds and O.J. Mayo added 20 points and six assists to lead host Memphis over Indiana. The Grizzlies trailed 56-51 at halftime, but opened the third quarter with an 18-3 run and never looked back.
ROCKETS 116, MAVERICKS 108
Kyle Lowry came off the bench for a career-high 26 points and 10 assists, helping visiting Houston beat Dallas in overtime. Houston's Carl Landry was taken to a hospital after breaking teeth in a collision with Dirk Nowitzki during the second quarter. Nowitzki injured his elbow and did not play thereafter.
WIZARDS 118, WARRIORS 109
Gilbert Arenas had season-highs with 45 points and 13 assists, helping visiting Washington beat Golden State to end a six-game losing streak. Monta Ellis scored 30 points to lead the Warriors, who closed a 12-point deficit to 60-59 at halftime, before losing their fifth straight.
Costly tweet for Bucks' Jennings: Bucks rookie Brandon Jennings was fined $7,500 by the NBA yesterday for posting a message on his Twitter account after Milwaukee's 108-101 double overtime win over Portland last weekend. Jennings was fined for the timing of his post, not the content.
According to the NBA's social media policy, players cannot tweet during game time, defined as beginning 45 minutes before the game starts and ending after players have finished talking to the media following the game. His post came about 15 minutes after the game ended.