Knicks dump Celtics
NEW YORK — It's definitely a slump now. The Boston Celtics can't even beat the New York Knicks anymore.
Wilson Chandler scored a career-high 31 points and the Knicks snapped an eight-game losing streak against the sputtering Celtics with a 100-88 victory last night.
Al Harrington added 30 for the Knicks, who hadn't beaten Boston at Madison Square Garden since March 23, 2005, dropping the last six meetings. Capitalizing on a quiet night for Kevin Garnett, they seized control in the third quarter, never let it get too close in the fourth and added to the defending champions' worst stretch of the season.
"It was the way they scored. It was frustrating watching it happen," Celtics guard Ray Allen said. "It was disappointing because we couldn't get a stop. They were scoring in ways that each time they scored it was somewhat letting the air out of the balloon, out of ourselves."
Chandler put the finishing touches on the upset when he took a long outlet pass from David Lee and made a layup while being fouled, hitting the free throw for a 98-86 lead with 2:11 to play.
"We've been close in a lot of games. I thought we've played and we haven't finished games," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Tonight we finished them. I don't want to get too far ahead of us. That was a great win and we'll try to get better on the defensive end. If we can have that effort and learn how to finish games, which tonight we did, we'll just see if we can keep building on it."
Paul Pierce scored 31 points for the Celtics, who lost for the fourth time in six games after a 27-2 start. Ray Allen added 16, but Garnett, who hurt his right calf when he was kicked late in the third quarter, had only six points on 1-of-6 shooting with nine rebounds.
"We've just got to come together," Pierce said. "We talked about it after the game amongst the players, what we're doing right, what we're doing wrong, and the good thing about this group, we're a strong group. It's just about getting through this period and we know we're a better team that the way we've been playing."
Lee had 14 points and 14 rebounds as he and Chandler, who scored 15 points in the decisive third quarter, consistently outworked Garnett and Boston's front line.
Meanwhile, the defending NBA champions lacked their usual poise, frequently yelling at each other or the officials. They allowed 100 points for just the eighth time in 35 games this season and managed the lowest total allowed by the Knicks.
"We were frustrated," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "I think we were very frustrated in our play tonight. I thought you could see it real early in the game and that's not us, but it was us tonight."
Boston lost three of four on its West Coast road trip over the holidays, creating some belief they needed more depth for a run at a repeat. www.ESPN.com reported Thursday that could come from Stephon Marbury, the banished Knicks guard who is seeking his release. The report said the Celtics would be interested once a buyout is completed.
RAPTORS 108, MAGIC 102
TORONTO — Anthony Parker scored a season-high 26 points, Chris Bosh added 23 points and 10 rebounds and Toronto overcame a 39-point performance by Orlando's Dwight Howard to beat the Magic.
Parker was 13 of 16 from the field and came within one point of his career high. The Raptors also got 18 points from Andrea Bargnani, 12 from Roko Ukic and 11 from Will Solomon.
Howard matched his career high in both points and field goals, but it wasn't enough for Orlando, which had won 17 of 20 coming in.
WIZARDS 80, CAVS 77
WASHINGTON — LeBron James was called for traveling while driving for the potential tying basket with 2.3 seconds left, and Cleveland lost to the Eastern Conference-worst Wizards.
James finished with 30 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. But nobody else on the Cavaliers scored more than 13, and they were held to their lowest point total this season.
Antawn Jamison's 26 points and 13 rebounds included a baseline jumper with 10.5 seconds left that put Washington ahead 79-77.
PISTONS 88, CLIPPERS 87
LOS ANGELES — Rodney Stuckey scored 24 points, Tayshaun Prince added 20 and Detroit got a critical goaltending call in the final seconds to beat Los Angeles for its seventh straight victory.
Allen Iverson had 18 points and 10 assists for the Pistons, who have beaten the Clippers 12 straight times.
Eric Gordon scored a career-high 31 points, but missed a potential winner at the buzzer, for the Clippers.
GRIZZLIES 102, MAVS 82
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — O.J. Mayo scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half, and Memphis snapped a 13-game losing streak to Dallas.
Marc Gasol had 19 points for Memphis, which ended a four-game skid overall. Rudy Gay and Hakim Warrick added 18 apiece.
Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 28 points, hitting 11 of 21 shots.
LAKERS 100, BLAZERS 86
LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant scored 26 points, Pau Gasol added 19 and Los Angeles beat Portland for its sixth consecutive victory and 15th straight at home.
LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 22 points and 11 rebounds, as all five starters scored in double figures. But the Blazers shot only 39 percent overall.
Vladimir Radmanovic had 16 points off the bench for the Lakers, 12 of them in the fourth quarter.