Bulls Hold Off the Celtics

The Celtics trimmed a 52-33 halftime deficit to 67-66 on a 3-pointer by Mickael Pietrus with 10 minutes left. Then Boston missed its next two shots as Rose scored 4 straight points. Kevin Garnett responded with a short jumper, but Rose came through again with a 3-pointer for a 74-68 lead with 7:30 remaining.

Rose missed a victory over the on Wednesday with a sprained left big toe.

Ray Allen scored 16 for Boston, and Rajon Rondo had 14 points and 11 assists.

NETS 110, SUNS 103 Deron Williams had 35 points, his most since coming to New Jersey last season, and 14 assists as the Nets held off short-handed Phoenix for just their third victory in 12 games this season. Williams tied a career high with six 3-pointers, and MarShon Brooks scored 20 for the Nets.

Phoenix played without Steve Nash and Grant Hill because of injuries.

120, WIZARDS 89 Jodie Meeks tied a career high with 26 points, Lou Williams had 19 and Spencer Hawes added 10 points and 10 rebounds for host Philadelphia. The Sixers led by 34 points against hapless Washington, which dropped to 1-10.

All five starters scored in double digits for the Sixers (8-3), who lead the Atlantic Division.

MAVERICKS 102, BUCKS 76 Dirk Nowitzki became the 23rd N.B.A. player to surpass 23,000 career points as host Dallas won its fourth straight. Vince Carter finished with 16, his best with the Mavericks.

Nowitzki scored 11 points. His 23,008 career points are third among active players behind Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett.

Brandon Jennings scored 19 for the Bucks, who were without Andrew Bogut because of concussion-like symptoms. Bogut hit the back of his head on the floor while taking a charge during a win Thursday over Detroit.

SPURS 99, BLAZERS 83, Tony Parker scored 20 points to help San Antonio stay unbeaten at home. All of the Spurs’ eight wins have come at home.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 29 points for the Blazer, who lost the veteran center Marcus Camby to a sprained ankle in the loss.

PACERS 95, RAPTORS 90 Tyler Hansbrough made two key free throws with less than 15 seconds to play, and George Hill scored 22 points as visiting Indiana overcame the second-period ejection of Danny Granger, its leading scorer. Granger was assessed a technical foul for arguing a noncall, then was given another one for staring down Toronto’s Ed Davis after a blocked shot.

PISTONS 98, BOBCATS 81 Jonas Jerebko tied a career high with 22 points as visiting Detroit prevailed in a matchup of teams with 2-9 records.

T’WOLVES 87, HORNETS 80 Kevin Love scored 34 points, and Ricky Rubio, in his first career start for visiting Minnesota, had 12 points and 9 assists.

Love added 15 rebounds for his 11th consecutive double-double.

ROCKETS 103, KINGS 89 Kyle Lowry’s 25 points led five double-digit scorers for host Houston. Tyreke Evans scored 27 points for Sacramento, which hired the Hall of Famer Alex English as an assistant coach.

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Stingy Celtics Stifle Bucks in Boston

It was the lowest score against the Celtics since they beat the Milwaukee Hawks 62-57 at Providence, R.I., on Feb. 27, 1955.

The Celtics held the Bucks to just 38 points through three quarters and clinched the new low when Milwaukee’s Keyon Dooling missed a pair of free throws with 22 seconds remaining.

Nenad Krstic had 11 points and 14 rebounds and Paul Pierce scored 14 for the Celtics, who rested their starters throughout the fourth quarter.

Earl Barron was the only player to score in double figures for the Bucks, finishing with 10 points. Andrew Bogut and led Milwaukee’s starters with eight points apiece.

The Bucks were coming off a 102-74 win over Philadelphia on Saturday, but were sluggish from the start after the late night trip, scoring just nine points in the first period.

It was Milwaukee’s most dismal performance since an 88-58 loss to Seattle on Feb. 21, 2003 — the day after the Bucks traded Allen to the in a multiplayer deal for .

Eight years later, Allen had a light workout with 30 minutes for the Celtics.

The Bucks barely avoided the NBA record for fewest points in a half. Two field goals by Bogut in the final minute of the second quarter pushed Milwaukee’s score from 18 to 22 — just three better than the league record for futility. It tied the Bucks’ franchise low and was the fewest scored in a half against the Celtics ever.

The Bucks had more turnovers (nine) than field goals (eight) in the half and were outrebounded by Boston 27-17 in the first two periods.

NOTES: The Celtics got an early start on St. Patrick’s Day festivities by wearing their green and gold uniforms at home. … Bogut was called for his second foul just 4:31 into the game.

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Rose Has 36 Points as Bulls Beat Celtics

Rose set career highs for free throws made and attempted with a 15-for-19 performance from the line, driving by Rajon Rondo time and time again before drawing contact inside.

“It hurts, definitely, running into a brick wall,” Rose said of his collisions with the Boston big men , who finished with five fouls, and , who had four.

“From the start of the game to the end of the game, he was aggressive,” Bulls Coach Tom Thibodeau said of Rose. “He was taking the contact on tonight and he was getting calls.”

The Celtics had won four in a row and five of seven. But the Bulls, trying to avoid a third straight loss, grabbed control with a 9-1 run that started at the end of the third quarter. Boozer capped the spurt with a jumper that gave Chicago a 73-65 lead.

Rose carried the Bulls from there. He hit consecutive jumpers with five minutes left to extend the lead to double digits. He heard chants of “M.V.P.! M.V.P.!” from the United Center crowd in the final minute when he made a 3-pointer to make it 90-77.

“He took on the challenge of going against Rondo,” Boozer said of Rose. “He loves challenges like that.”

115, NETS 92 Chris Douglas-Roberts celebrated his birthday by scoring 24 points against his former teammates to lead visiting Milwaukee, which ended a three-game losing streak and beat for the sixth straight time. The Bucks, the ’s worst shooting team at 41.3 percent from the field, shot a season-best 58.3 percent and had a season high in points despite playing without center Andrew Bogut, who was sidelined with a viral infection.

Kris Humphries scored a season-high 22 points for the Nets. Brook Lopez failed to take advantage of Bogut’s absence and had 5 points and a rebound.

HAWKS 108, 93 Josh Smith scored 14 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and Joe Johnson added 24 points as host Atlanta won its fourth in a row. Indiana seemed flat less than 24 hours after blowing an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter against San Antonio.

MAGIC 117, 107 had 23 points and 13 rebounds and visiting Orlando extended the league’s longest active winning streak to nine. DeShawn Stevenson scored a season-high 24 points for Dallas, which was without for a seventh straight game; he has a sprained right knee.

103, 99 Paul Millsap scored 12 of his 27 points in overtime for Utah, which trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half at Houston. The Jazz has come back to win 12 times this season after trailing by at least 10. Al Jefferson added 24 points and 13 rebounds.

104, 89 Charlotte kept Washington winless (0-18) on the road. Stephen Jackson scored 21 points for the Bobcats, who pulled away in the fourth quarter to improve to 3-2 under the interim coach Paul Silas.

THUNDER 109, GRIZZLIES 100 Kevin Durant scored 40 points and Russell Westbrook added 22 points and 11 assists for host Oklahoma City. Zach Randolph had 27 points and 16 rebounds for Memphis.

112, 109 Austin Daye made a game-tying 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds left in regulation and host Detroit went on to win in overtime. Philadelphia nearly rallied from a 7-point deficit in the final 20 seconds of overtime, but an off-balance shot at the end by Jodie Meeks bounced off the rim.

NO FINE FOR MOZGOV The N.B.A. said it would have no further punishment for the reserve center Timofey Mozgov, who drew a flagrant foul and an automatic ejection for elbowing the ’ Robin Lopez late in Friday’s victory.

Mozgov began the season as the team’s starting center, but has since tumbled from Coach ’s rotation. He recently returned from a shin injury and has not played more than 11 minutes since Nov. 20.

Also, the Knicks practiced without Amar’e Stoudemire, who remained in Phoenix after Friday’s game to spend time with his family. Stoudemire was scheduled to join the Knicks in Los Angeles on Saturday night. JONATHAN ABRAMS

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