NBA: Celtics hold on to beat Cavs

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 31 2012 11:00 p.m. MST

CLEVELAND— Paul Pierce scored 20 points, Ray Allen had 12 in the third quarter and the Boston Celtics avenged a disappointing loss to Cleveland two days earlier by barely holding off the Cavaliers 93-90 on Tuesday night.

The Celtics, who blew an 11-point lead at home Sunday in the final four minutes and lost by one, led by 22 late in the third quarter.

However, the Cavs rallied again behind rookie Kyrie Irving and got within two on his twisting layup with 1:18 left. But Kevin Garnett dropped in a short jumper that bounced high off the rim and Pierce made two free throws with 2.6 seconds left as the Celtics avoided further embarrassment.

Irving scored 21 points and Anderson Varejao added 20 and 20 rebounds for Cleveland.

KNICKS 113, PISTONS 86: At NewYork, CarmeloAnthony scored 25 points in his return to the lineup, LandryFields added 16 of his 18 in a flawless first half, and the New York Knicks snapped a three-game losing streak with a victory over the Detroit Pistons.

TysonChandler had 17 points and AmareStoudemire 15 for the Knicks, whose slumbering offense awoke in just their second victory in 11 games. They shot 60 percent from the field — amazingly the first time they bettered 50 percent all season — and fell just a point short of matching their highest-scoring effort.

Anthony had missed two straight games because of injuries to his ankle, wrist and thumb.

JonasJerebko scored 15 points and GregMonroe had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Pistons, who lost their sixth straight.

PACERS 106, NETS 99: At Indianapolis, PaulGeorge scored a career-high 24 points to lead the Indiana Pacers past the New Jersey Nets.

DannyGranger had 21 points and seven rebounds and RoyHibbert had 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Pacers, who went on a 12-0 run midway through the third quarter and eventually led by as much as 18 in the fourth.

George, who shot 8 of 11 in this one, scored 21 points to lead the Pacers to a 108-94 win against the Nets on Jan. 2.

DeronWilliams scored 34 points for the Nets, who have lost two straight overall and nine straight against the Pacers. The Nets turned the ball over three times and missed three shots in the Pacers' big run and shot just 40 percent overall in the third.

HAWKS 100, RAPTORS 77: At Toronto, JoeJohnson needed just three quarters to match his season high with 30 points, TracyMcGrady scored 15 against his former team and the Atlanta Hawks recorded their sixth consecutive victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Atlanta's leading scorer, Johnson has averaged 30 points in his past four games against Toronto.

JeffTeague,MarvinWilliams and ZazaPachulia each scored 10 points as the Hawks won their third straight.

JerrydBayless scored 14 points for the Raptors, who lost their third in a row at home game. Toronto has gone 5-9 in playing a league-high 14 road games, but is just 2-6 at home.

GRIZZLIES 100, NUGGETS 97, OT: At Memphis, Tenn., O.J. Mayo scored 18 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 35 seconds left in overtime, as the Memphis Grizzlies snapped a four-game losing streak with a victory over the Denver Nuggets.

Mayo's basket gave Memphis a 98-97 lead, and two free throws by MikeConley with 8 seconds left gave Memphis the final margin. RudyFernandez's potential tying 3-point attempt in the closing seconds for Denver bounced off the rim, sending the Nuggets to their second straight loss.

RudyGay and MarcGasol both overcame poor shooting nights to lead Memphis with 20 points apiece, each also grabbing 13 boards as the Grizzlies outrebounded the Nuggets 48-42.

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