Gerald Wallace scored 19 points, including the clinching free throws with three seconds left, and the host Charlotte Bobcats overcame their top scorer Stephen Jackson’s ejection to beat the short-handed Boston Celtics, 94-89, on Monday night.
Shaun Livingston added a season-high 18 points, Eduardo Najera had a key 3-pointer late, and the Bobcats ended a six-game losing streak to Boston in a testy game that included five technicals and another emotional outburst by Jackson.
”This is a wonderful victory for us,” Coach Paul Silas said.
Ray Allen had 25 points and hit two 3-pointers, leaving him two short of breaking Reggie Miller’s career record of 2,560. Paul Pierce added 22 points and Kevin Garnett 14 rebounds for the Celtics, who dressed 10 players.
The loss trimmed the Celtics’ lead in the Eastern Conference to one game over Miami.
Jackson, who a day earlier shook off criticism about his collection of technical fouls, was sent to the locker room with 1 minute 38 seconds left in the second quarter when he would not stop complaining about being called for a foul on Garnett.
The referees Kane Fitzgerald and Mark Ayotte hit him with his 12th and 13th technical fouls before play resumed, handing him his second ejection in a season that has also included a one-game suspension and a separate $50,000 fine for bad behavior.
ROCKETS 108, NUGGETS 103 Kevin Martin scored 37 points and visiting Houston took advantage of Nene’s absence and Chauncey Billups’s early exit to beat Denver despite Carmelo Anthony’s 50-point effort, which tied his career high.
Martin scored 18 in the decisive third quarter, half of them during a 13-0 run the Rockets used to grab control at 71-56.
Anthony scored 9 points in the final minute of a furious but futile comeback attempt.
The Nuggets started the game without Nene (flu), and Billups left after straining his left knee in the first quarter.
LAKERS 93, GRIZZLIES 84Kobe Bryant scored 19 points and Lamar Odom had 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead visiting Los Angeles past Memphis.
Memphis made it a 2-point game in the fourth quarter, but Los Angeles took advantage of five Grizzlies turnovers to go on an 11-0 run and take an 89-76 lead.
The Lakers, who tied the season series at two games apiece, have won three of four over all.
TIMBERWOLVES 104, HORNETS 92 Kevin Love had 27 points and 17 rebounds, and visiting Minnesota maintained its surprising dominance of playoff-contending New Orleans.
Minnesota’s second double-digit victory against New Orleans this season might have been a costly one, though. Michael Beasley, who had 14 points, had to be helped off the floor with a left leg injury, and the starting center Darko Milicic departed with a strained left hip flexor.
The injuries meant more action for Nikola Pekovic and Anthony Tolliver, who each had 12 points. Minnesota hit 11 3-pointers and made all 25 of its free throws.
Chris Paul had 17 points and 13 assists for the Hornets, who have lost three straight and five of six.
ONE FEWER TECHNICAL The N.B.A. rescinded the technical foul that Amar’e Stoudemire received against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, reducing his total for the season to 13. Stoudemire is still close to the threshold of 16 technicals, at which a player receives a one-game suspension. On Sunday, Stoudemire poked the ball away from Philadelphia’s Spencer Hawes and was called for a foul.
He reacted by racing up the court, and the referee Bob Delaney called him for the technical under the N.B.A.’s new policy to curtail player complaining.
Stoudemire also had a technical foul taken away by the league after he received one for taunting Gilbert Arenas of the Orlando Magic.
AROUND THE LEAGUE Jerry Sloan, 68, has agreed to a one-year contact extension to remain as coach of the Utah Jazz. This is Sloan’s 23rd season as Utah’s coach. …Point guard Jason Williams, released last month by Orlando, signed a contract to return to the Grizzlies, for whom he played from 2001 to 2005. (AP)
PHOTO: Gerald Wallace, looking for an open lane, helped seal the Bobcats’ victory with two free throws. (PHOTOGRAPH BY CHRIS KEANE/REUTERS)