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Celtics take first meeting with Knicks


February 20. 2013 1:12AM
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NEW YORK — Paul Pierce scored 23 points and the Boston Celtics beat the New York Knicks 102-96 on Monday night in a heated first meeting of the season between the Atlantic Division rivals.


Kevin Garnett added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who even without the suspended Rajon Rondo won their third straight and finally are playing like the team that has ruled the division for the last half-decade.


The Knicks want that title now, but Carmelo Anthony and his teammates were reminded how tough the Celtics can make it.


Anthony had 20 points but shot 6 of 26 while battling his temper, Garnett and foul trouble. J.R. Smith led the Knicks with 24 points.


Wizards 101, Thunder 99

WASHINGTON — Bradley Beal made a jumper with 0.3 seconds left after using a pump fake to get open, and the short-handed Washington Wizards beat the Oklahoma City Thunder.


Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City (26-8) with 29 points.


The Wizards (5-28), playing without their top two scorers, had lost 13 of their previous 14, but they also beat the Miami Heat earlier in the season. Beal and Martell Webster led the Washington with 22 points each.


Kevin Seraphin added 19 points, and Emeka Okafor had 12 points and 12 rebounds.


The Thunder missed 16 straight shots from midway through the third quarter to midway through the fourth quarter.


Durant drove through the lane for a thunderous dunk to cut Oklahoma City's deficit to 95-94 with just more than two minutes left. Martell Webster answered with a four-point play to give the Wizards a 99-94 lead.


Then, Ibaka made a jumper, and Durant made a 3-pointer with 36 seconds left to tie the game at 99.


Bulls 118, Cavaliers 92

CHICAGO — Carlos Boozer had 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Chicago Bulls to a rout of the Cleveland Cavaliers.


It was the third straight game that Boozer has eclipsed 20 points. This time he did it against the team that drafted him in 2002.


Dion Waiters led Cleveland (8-28) with 18 points. C.J. Miles and Kyrie Irving had 15 points apiece.


Joakim Noah added 11 points and 11 rebounds while Luol Deng had 19 points and seven assists for the Bulls, who beat the Cavaliers for an 11th straight time.


Hornets 95, Spurs 88

NEW ORLEANS — Eric Gordon scored six straight points in a fourth quarter spurt and had 24 overall to lead the New Orleans Hornets to a victory over San Antonio.


Anthony Davis added 17 points, Greivis Vasquez 14 and Ryan Anderson 13 for the Hornets, who have won two consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 2-3.


Manu Ginobili scored 21 points to lead the Spurs, who had won eight of their previous nine, dating to a 99-94 victory over the Hornets in San Antonio on Dec. 21.




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