BOSTON — Paul Pierce scored 22 points, and Ray Allen hit a jumper with 25 seconds left to give the Boston Celtics their first lead of the second half and help them beat the Detroit Pistons 86-82 on Wednesday night.
It was the fourth straight victory for the Celtics. The Pistons had their three-game winning streak snapped.
Shaquille O’Neal had 12 points and 12 rebounds, and Kevin Garnett added 11 points and six boards in his second game back after missing nine with a leg injury.
Rodney Stuckey scored 15 points and Greg Monroe had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Pistons, who led by eight with 8 minutes left but did not score over the game’s last 2:43.
The Pistons had won three in a row after coach John Kuester shook up his lineup, benching Richard Hamilton and inserting rookie Monroe at center and Tracy McGrady at point guard. It was the longest winning streak of the season for Detroit, which opened with an 11-26 record.
The Pistons led by eight on Ben Gordon’s 3-pointer, but the Celtics made three straight baskets before Chris Wilcox hit one free throw to make it 76-73 with 5:23 left. Rajon Rondo took a jumper near the top of the key, and O’Neal tipped the rebound off the backboard before grabbing it and laying it in; McGrady swiped at him, and the free throw made it 76-all.
It was a two-point game with 3:02 left when O’Neal missed two free throws, and Detroit made it 82-78 on Monroe’s reverse layup. But Garnett scored inside, and then Pierce made a jumper in the lane.
After McGrady missed, Garnett missed a long jumper but Rondo got the rebound and called timeout. The Celtics ran Allen off a screen to get him open near the 3-point line on the right side and he sank the basket; it was initially ruled a 3-pointer, but replays showed his right foot was on the line, making the score 84-82.
Stuckey missed a leaner in the lane, and Garnett grabbed the rebound, then hit one of two foul shots. Gordon drove and missed a layup over Glen “Big Baby” Davis’ outstretched arms.
NOTES: Celtics G Marquis Daniels rolled his ankle early in the second quarter and did not return. … Charlie Villanueva came off the bench and played the entire second quarter, scoring seven points. … The Pistons shot 58 percent (11 for 19) in the second and led 45-42 at halftime. The Celtics committed nine turnovers in the third quarter, and shot 29 percent from the field. But the Pistons shot just 26 percent. … Allen missed both free throw attempts after being fouled early in the fourth quarter. It’s the second time this year he has missed two foul shots in one trip to the line, and just the second time since 2007.
|Nets 103, Jazz 95|
NEWARK, N.J. — Hours after owner Mikhail Prokhorov ended their long, drawn-out pursuit of Carmelo Anthony, the New Jersey Nets snapped a six-game losing streak with a 103-95 victory over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.
Brook Lopez scored 11 of his 20 points in a big third quarter and the Nets seemed to relax with the trade talk over in winning for only the second time in 13 games.
Sasha Vujacic added 15 points, Devin Harris had 14 points and eight assists and Travis Outlaw had 13 points as New Jersey matched its season high with seven players in double figures.
Al Jefferson had 21 points and eight rebounds and Deron Williams added 20 points and 10 assists for Utah, which lost its second straight.
|Magic 99, 76ers, 98, OT|
ORLANDO, Fla. — Jason Richardson converted a 4-point play with 17 seconds left, Dwight Howard scored 18 points before fouling out late in regulation and Orlando defeated Philadelphia.
Reserve Ryan Anderson scored 20 to lead the Magic, who survived another slow start and spotty defense with some big baskets down the stretch.
Lou Williams led Philadelphia with 19 points and Thaddeus Young had 17.
|Rockets 104, Knicks 89|
HOUSTON — Kevin Martin scored 21 points, Chuck Hayes grabbed 12 rebounds and Houston handed New York its fourth straight loss.
Kyle Lowry added 18 points, and Luis Scola and Chase Budinger scored 13 points apiece for the Rockets, who rode a hot shooting start to their sixth straight win over New York at the Toyota Center.
Amare Stoudemire scored 25, but also gave away five turnovers for the Knicks, who’ve lost 14 of their last 16 games against the Rockets overall.
The Knicks shot 42 percent (35 of 83), scored only 39 points after halftime and were held almost 19 points under their league-leading scoring average (107.5 per game).
|Suns 106, Cavaliers 98|
CLEVELAND — Grant Hill scored 27 points, Steve Nash had 15 points and 15 assists, and Phoenix won its fourth in a row.
Cleveland has lost 14 straight and 24 of 25.
Vince Carter scored just three points for Phoenix, but they were on a huge 3-pointer from the corner with 2:35 left. Cleveland trimmed a 17-point deficit in the second half to three but couldn’t get closer and fell to an NBA worst 8-33.
Antawn Jamison scored 23 and J.J. Hickson had 16 points and 15 rebounds for Cleveland, winless since Dec. 18. The Cavs were at least more competitive than during a just completed five-game road trip, when they lost by an average of 26.2 points.
|Bucks 100, Wizards 87|
MILWAUKEE — Keyon Dooling scored a season-high 23 points, Corey Maggette added 21 and Milwaukee dropped Washington to 0-20 on the road.
The Wizards had ample opportunities to open a big lead against the short-handed Bucks early, but squandered a 12-point lead in a matter of 7 minutes in the first half as the Bucks began hitting shots despite missing starters Brandon Jennings (left foot), Carlos Delfino (concussion) and John Salmons (right hip).
Milwaukee, which came in as the NBA’s worst shooting team (41.9 percent), went 35 of 73 to finish at 48 percent from the field.
No. 1 overall pick John Wall scored 10 points and had 10 of his 13 assists in the first half.