Saturday, March 8, 2014
The Associated Press
BOSTON - Kevin Garnett scored 12 points, passing Jerry West for 15th on the NBA's career scoring list, and Paul Pierce joined him among the top 20 scorers in league history with 15 points as the Boston Celtics beat the Toronto Raptors 112-88 on Wednesday night.
Garnett needed four points to pass West (25,192 points) and Pierce entered the game nine points shy of tying Charles Barkley (23,757) for 20th.
Garnett hit a bank shot with 10:03 left in the second quarter and received a standing ovation when his milestone was announced during a stoppage a few minutes later. Boston fans returned to their feet again in the third to recognize Pierce, who responded with a salute back to the crowd.
It was a short night for Boston's 30-something stars, who were resting comfortably on the bench through the fourth quarter as their teammates finished off the Raptors.
Jeff Green scored 20 to lead the Celtics, who ended a two-game slide and won their 10th straight at home. Jason Terry and Jordan Crawford added 12 points apiece, while Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley both scored 11 for Boston.
Rudy Gay had 19 points and DeMar DeRozan added 17 points for the Raptors, who have lost 7 of 9. Terrence Ross scored 13 for the Raptors, who got within four points before Boston blew it open in the third quarter.
After falling behind by 13 early in the third, Toronto scored nine straight to get back in it. DeRozan scored 12 in the period, including a three-point play with 6:04 left that pulled Toronto within 60-56. Pierce answered with four straight to start Boston on a 14-4 run.
HEAT 98, 76ERS 94: LeBron James scored 27 points and Miami became the fourth team to win at least 20 consecutive games in a season, rallying to beat Philadelphia.
Dwyane Wade added 21 as the Heat needed big baskets over the final 2 minutes to top the Sixers for the milestone win.
Only three teams have won at least 20 consecutive games in the same season: the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers (33), the 2007-08 Houston Rockets (22) and the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks (20). The Washington Capitols also won 20 straight, spanning the end of the 1947-48 season and the start of the 1948-49 campaign.
WIZARDS 106, BUCKS 93: John Wall had 23 points and 10 assists, and host Washington beat Milwaukee.
Wall and Wizards Coach Randy Wittman appeared to exchange unpleasant words during a timeout late in the third quarter, but Wall rallied with eight fourth-quarter points to hold off the Bucks' comeback.
PACERS 107, TIMBERWOLVES 91: Roy Hibbert had a season-high 27 points and 12 rebounds to lead host Indiana over Minnesota.
Paul George had 17 points and George Hill added 16 points with six assists to help the Pacers get their second win in three games.
The Timberwolves have lost 9 of 11.
THUNDER 110, JAZZ 87: Kevin Durant scored 23 points, Russell Westbrook added 19 and host Oklahoma City cruised past Utah.
ROCKETS 111, SUNS 81: Donatas Motiejunas scored a career-high 19 points to lead five starters in double figures and host Houston routed Phoenix.
James Harden scored 18 and Omer Asik had 14 for the Rockets, who stayed in the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference standings.
HAWKS 96, LAKERS 92: Los Angeles star Kobe Bryant severely sprained his left ankle after missing a tying shot in the closing seconds of a loss at Atlanta.
The Lakers said Bryant is out indefinitely, just as the team is pushing for a playoff spot after a miserable start.
The injury occurred after Bryant put up the baseline jumper with 3 seconds remaining. His left foot landed on defender Dahntay Jones' right foot, twisting awkwardly as Bryant crumpled to the court.
X-rays were negative.