WASHINGTON Richard Hamilton had 20 points to become the 10th-leading scorer in Pistons history, and he added nine assists and seven rebounds to help Detroit earn its 10th consecutive victory by beating the Washington Wizards 106-93 Wednesday night.
It's the Pistons' longest winning streak since an 11-gamer in January 2006, and their average margin of victory during the current run is 16.8 points.
How lopsided was this one? Detroit led by double digits throughout the second half.
The Wizards (15-15) were paced by Caron Butler's 22 points and Antawn Jamison's 21, but they again failed to defeat a top team. Washington's last victory over a club with a winning record came Dec. 1 against the Toronto Raptors.The Pistons, meanwhile, are beating everyone. They improved to 25-7 overall, 17-2 against Eastern Conference opponents. Detroit coach Flip Saunders was honored Wednesday as the East's coach of the month after his club went 15-2 in December.
CELTICS 97, ROCKETS 93: At Boston, Kevin Garnett scored 11 of his 26 points in the last seven minutes, adding nine rebounds to help Boston beat Houston for its seventh consecutive victory.Paul Pierce scored 19 points and assisted on four key baskets down the stretch as the Celtics improved to 27-3 to match the best 30-game start in the shot-clock era. Five other teams have lost just three of their first 30 games, including the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, who finished the season with an NBA-record 72 wins.
CAVALIERS 98, HAWKS 94: At Cleveland, LeBron James scored 32 of his 36 points in the second half and Larry Hughes, whose shooting woes have been an ongoing problem for Cleveland, made a crucial jumper down the stretch to lead the Cavaliers past Atlanta.James, who just celebrated birthday No. 23 to match his uniform number began the new year with another dominating performance.
TRAIL BLAZERS 90, TIMBERWOLVES 79: At Minneapolis, Brandon Roy scored 24 points and Portland beat woeful Minnesota for its 14th victory in 15 games.The Trail Blazers improved to 4-10 on the road, bouncing back from a loss Monday at Utah that ended their 13-game winning streak the NBA's longest this season.
MAVERICKS 121, WARRIORS 99: At Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki scored 29 points and Josh Howard added 19 points and 13 rebounds, leading the Mavericks past their pesky nemesis in Golden State's first trip to Dallas since last season's historic playoff upset.Dallas is 2-0 against Golden State this season after going 1-6 over the past two seasons.
NETS 96, MAGIC 95: At Orlando, Jason Kidd made a key defensive stop and nearly had a triple-double, helping New Jersey overcome a 15-point deficit to defeat Orlando.Vince Carter had 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists, and Kidd had 10 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Kidd also set two career milestones after entering the game one assist shy of 9,000 and three rebounds short of Magic Johnson for fourth place on the career list for guards. Kidd accomplished both feats in the first 3 1/2 minutes.
BULLS 109, BOBCATS 97: At Charlotte, Ben Gordon scored 22 points, Luol Deng added 21 points and 13 rebounds and Chicago continued its strong play under interim coach Jim Boylan with a win over Charlotte.The Bulls, who improved to 3-1 under Boylan, rallied from a 12-point third-quarter deficit when Boylan tweaked his rotation to take advantage of Charlotte's small lineup.
GRIZZLIES 90, PACERS 72: At Indianapolis, Pau Gasol scored 30 points and Memphis beat Indiana to snap a five-game losing streak.
Gasol also had 12 rebounds and shot 11-for-19 from the field.Rudy Gay scored 24 points and Mike Miller had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Grizzlies to extend Indiana's losing streak to five.
BUCKS 103, HEAT 98: At Miami, Mo Williams reminded the Miami Heat why they wanted him during the offseason, scoring 25 points with nine assists for Milwaukee.Charlie Villanueva scored 15 points, Andrew Bogut finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds and Charlie Bell scored 12 for the Bucks, who snapped a four-game skid and improved to 3-15 on the road.
KINGS 107, KNICKS 97: At New York, John Salmons scored a career-high 32 points and Sacramento beat New York, snapping a four-game losing streak.
HORNETS 95, CLIPPERS 81: At Los Angeles, David West had 29 points and 10 rebounds, Chris Paul added 16 points and 13 assists, and New Orleans broke open a tight game in the third quarter to beat Los Angeles.