DALLAS Ray Allen returned from a three-game injury absence and a long time on the bench in the fourth quarter to nail a go-ahead 3-pointer with 31.7 seconds left, lifting the Boston Celtics past the Dallas Mavericks 94-90 Thursday night to complete an impressive sweep in the Lone Star State.
Allen, recovering from a jammed left ankle, scored 21 points in 31 minutes. His clutch jumper came on his only shot of the final period and helped Boston win for the 14th time in 15 games. Paul Pierce had 22 points and a season-high 13 rebounds and Kevin Garnett added 20 and 13.
Dirk Nowitzki had 22 points and 19 rebounds to led the Mavericks, Josh Howard added 24 points and Jerry Stackhouse had 17.
SPURS 102, BULLS 80: At Chicago, Tony Parker scored 23 points and Tim Duncan had 22 to go with 10 rebounds as San Antonio ended a four-game losing streak.
The defending NBA champs avoided their first five-game losing streak since the 1996-97 season the one before Duncan's rookie year. And they had such an easy time of it that Duncan and Parker were able to rest in the fourth quarter.
Luol Deng led the sagging Bulls with 18 points and Drew Gooden added 16 as Chicago fell 14 games under .500.