Celtics crush Carmelo-less Nuggets

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 8 2010 11:35 p.m. MST

Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics celebrates after drawing the foul in the second half against the Nuggets on Wednesday.

Elsa, Getty Images

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BOSTON — Ray Allen scored 28 points Wednesday night as the Boston Celtics took advantage of an injury to Carmelo Anthony and won their eighth straight game, beating the Denver Nuggets 105-89.

The loss left Nuggets coach George Karl stuck on 999 wins. His next chance to reach 1,000 comes Friday at Toronto.

Kevin Garnett had 17 points and nine rebounds, and Rajon Rondo added 13 assists for Boston. Paul Pierce scored 17 and Glen "Big Baby" Davis, who had been ill during the week, had 16 points.

Reserve guard Ty Lawson scored 24 for Denver, and Arron Afflalo added 16 points. Gary Forbes, who started in place of Anthony, had five points and zero rebounds in 19 minutes.

Anthony, the No. 10 scorer in the NBA this season at 22.8 points per game, was scratched just before tip-off because of inflammation in his right knee. It's the third time in 11 home games this season that the Celtics have dodged an opponent's star; Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant and Washington's John Wall also sat out in Boston.

The Celtics got all their sick and injured players back, with Rondo returning after missing Sunday's game against New Jersey, Davis making it back from an illness and Shaquille O'Neal shaking off a sore calf. Nate Robinson missed practice Tuesday for personal reasons, leaving Boston with just eight players at the workout.

But the Celtics hit their first seven shots and opened a 16-4 lead before they missed one, on Garnett's fallaway with 8:04 left in the first. The lead was 30-11 before the Nuggets began to chip away.

Karl's next victory would make him the seventh NBA coach to win 1,000 games. Only Phil Jackson, Pat Riley and Jerry Sloan did it in fewer games; only Riley and Lenny Wilkens hit the milestone at a younger age than the 59-year-old Karl.

KNICKS 113, RAPTORS 110: At New York, Raymond Felton's tiebreaking 3-pointer bounced on the rim five times and finally went in with 2.7 seconds left, giving New York a victory over Toronto that extended its winning streak to six. Amare Stoudemire pushed his 30-point streak to six games in sensational fashion, scoring 18 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter and grabbing 14 rebounds. His jumper gave New York a 110-107 lead with 57 seconds remaining and sparked "MVP!" chants at Madison Square Garden. But after Andrea Bargnani tied it with a 3, Felton launched his 3 that also hit the backboard once after Stoudemire couldn't get free. The point guard finished with 28 points and 11 assists, scoring 20 in the first half to carry the Knicks before Stoudemire got rolling. Bargnani had a career-high 41 points but wasn't close on a desperation 3 just before the buzzer.

LAKERS 87, CLIPPERS 86: At Los Angeles, Derek Fisher hit a layup at the buzzer after the Lakers trailed for most of the second half. Kobe Bryant scored 24 points, Shannon Brown added 16 and Pau Gasol had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who ended a three-game road losing streak as the visiting team in their own building.

BULLS 88, CAVALIERS 83: At Cleveland, Derrick Rose scored 29 points, including a three-point play that put Chicago ahead for good with 19.6 seconds to play, and the Bulls handed Cleveland its sixth straight loss. The losing streak matches Cleveland's longest since it dropped six in a row from Nov. 28 to Dec. 8, 2007.

BUCKS 97, PACERS 95: At Milwaukee, Andrew Bogut tipped in an inbounds pass from Luc Richard Mbah a Moute as time expired, lifting Milwaukee over Indiana. With 0.5 seconds left, Mbah a Moute made a perfect pass that just missed the rim, but allowed Bogut to deflect it in for the winning points.

THUNDER 111, TIMBERWOLVES 103: At Minneapolis, Kevin Durant scored 30 points, including 20 in the second half, and grabbed 11 rebounds as Oklahoma City came from 19 points down to beat Minnesota. Russell Westbrook added 25 points and eight assists as the Thunder recovered from their worst shooting performance of the season with one of their best.

HORNETS 93, PISTONS 74: At New Orleans, David West scored 25 points, Chris Paul had 14 assists and New Orleans beat Detroit to win its first game since the NBA announced its impending takeover of the club. West had 23 in the first three quarters as the Hornets built a commanding lead that was never threatened in the final period by Detroit.

SPURS 111, WARRIORS 94: At San Antonio, Tony Parker had 19 points and nine assists, and San Antonio beat Golden State to set a franchise record for the best start to a season. DeJuan Blair added 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Spurs (18-3), who have won their last 25 games against the Warriors.

GRIZZLIES 104, SUNS 98 (OT): At Phoenix, Zach Randolph scored a season-high 34 points, Rudy Gay had 22 and Memphis rallied to beat Phoenix in overtime. Mike Conley had 11 points and a career-high 14 assists for the Grizzlies, who earned their first road win since Nov. 6 at Sacramento. Gay sent the game to overtime with a 3-pointer just before the buzzer.

KINGS 116, WIZARDS 91: At Sacramento, Calif., Beno Udrih scored 23 points, Jason Thompson had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and the Sacramento Kings snapped an eight-game losing streak. Wizards rookie John Wall sat out with a sore foot. That wiped out what was supposed to be the first NBA meeting between Wall and his college teammate at Kentucky, DeMarcus Cousins.

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