Kevin Garnett scored 30 points, sinking the final two to an "M-V-P!" chant echoing through the new Boston Garden, and Paul Pierce had 12 of his 27 in the fourth quarter to lead the Celtics to a 117-97 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.
Kendrick Perkins had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Ray Allen had 14 points and eight assists for Boston, which snapped a two-game losing streak. Rajon Rondo scored 14 with six rebounds and six assists while frustrating Shaquille O'Neal into a technical foul as Boston turned a tie game into a double-digit lead in the third.
Amare Stoudemire scored 32 and O'Neal had 16 with seven rebounds for the Suns, who have lost two straight.
BOBCATS 108, LAKERS 95: At Los Angeles, Jason Richardson had 34 points and 10 rebounds, and the Charlotte Hornets stunned the Los Angeles Lakers 108-95 in a game where Kobe Bryant drew two technical fouls in a span of 29 seconds late in the fourth quarter and was ejected. The loss dropped the Lakers (49-23) into a three-way tie for second place in the Western Conference with Houston and San Antonio. They trail the New Orleans Hornets by one game.
Matt Carroll added 18 points and Gerald Wallace had 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Bobcats (26-56), who won for just the second time in eight games and snapped a six-game road losing streak.
Raymond Felton added 13 points and 10 assists and Emeka Okafor had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Charlotte, which outrebounded the Lakers 52-40.
HORNETS 100, CAVALIERS 99: At Cleveland, David West's 17-foot jumper, coming on Chris Paul's 20th assist, with less than a second left gave the New Orleans Hornets their fifth straight win. Cleveland inbounded the ball to James, whose 75-foot heave at the horn bounced off the 24-second clock at the other end. Peja Stojakovic scored 25 points 18 on 3-pointers and West added 20 points for the Hornets, who came in with the Western Conference's best record and improved to 2-0 on a six-game road trip against Eastern Conference teams.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored a season-high 29 points with 15 rebounds for Cleveland, which had its nine-game home winning streak end.
KINGS 107, GRIZZLIES 106, OT: At Sacramento, Kevin Martin scored 36 points and made two free throws in the closing seconds of overtime Wednesday night to give the Sacramento Kings a 107-106 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
HAWKS 115, BUCKS 96: At Atlanta, Joe Johnson scored 28 points, Josh Childress added 20 and the Atlanta Hawks maintained the eighth and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks also escaped a major scare when X-rays on point guard Mike Bibby's left thumb were negative. Bibby left the game in the fourth quarter and didn't return, but trainer Wally Blase said he had a strain and would be listed as day-to-day.
Andrew Bogut led the Bucks with 27 points and nine rebounds, but the 7-foot center left the game after Marvin Williams accidentally hit him in the face midway through the fourth.
RAPTORS 89, PISTONS 82: At Toronto, Chris Bosh scored 21 points and T.J. Ford had 13 points and nine assists in his return to the starting lineup for the Raptors.
KNICKS 103, HEAT 96, OT: At New York, Jamal Crawford scored 24 points, including the go-ahead jumper with about 2 1/2 minutes left in overtime, and the New York Knicks ended their longest home losing streak in nearly 45 years.
76ERS 121, BULLS 99: At Philadelphia, Lou Williams scored 23 points and Andre Miller had a season-high 18 assists for the 76ers.
The Sixers dominated early and led by 22 in the first half en route to their 19th victory in their last 24 games.
NETS 124, PACERS 117: At East Rutherford, N.J., Devin Harris had 22 points and a career-best 15 assists and the New Jersey Nets kept pace with Atlanta for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
ROCKETS 97, TIMBERWOLVES 86: At Houston, Tracy McGrady scored 10 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and Luis Scola had 18 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for the Houston Rockets.
SPURS 97, CLIPPERS 88: At San Antonio, Tim Duncan had 26 points and 12 rebounds and the San Antonio Spurs withstood a late rally from the Los Angeles Clippers. It was the fifth straight victory for the Spurs.
WIZARDS 104, SUPERSONICS 99: At Seattle, Rreserve Roger Mason pumped in five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter in leading the Wizards. Mason, averaging 8.6 points coming in, finished with 22 points.