First-Place Celtics Outlast Nets

Kevin Garnett had 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Celtics, who have won 10 of 13 and 20 of 28 to take over first place in the Atlantic Division.

Rajon Rondo added 15 assists, Brandon Bass had 18 points and Paul Pierce 17 for Boston, which limited the Nets to 34 second-half points in beating them for the third time in three games this season.

Gerald Green had 15 points to lead the Nets, while the rookie Jordan Williams had 12 points and a career-best 14 rebounds in recording his first double-double. Deron Williams had 12 points and 14 assists for the Nets, who had won six of their last nine in their best run of the season. MarShon Brooks added 13 points.

The Celtics outscored the Nets by 26-13 in the third quarter. Bradley was the catalyst in a late 13-4 surge in which he hit three straight 3-pointers from the right corner, near the Nets’ bench.

“We know what he can do,” Pierce said. “It’s just about him developing his confidence, and I said it over and over again, the more he plays and the more we show confidence in him.”

The Boston veteran Ray Allen missed his third straight game with soreness and swelling in his right ankle. Coach Doc Rivers said Allen would not play in Charlotte on Sunday.

THUNDER 115, T’WOLVES 110 Kevin Durant scored 43 points and Russell Westbrook had 35 points and 8 assists as Oklahoma City defeated host Minnesota.

Anthony Randolph had 22 points and 11 rebounds and Michael Beasley scored 26 for the Timberwolves, who lost their 9th straight game and 25th in a row in April dating to 2009.

SPURS 105, SUNS 91 Tim Duncan had 19 points and 10 rebounds as host San Antonio remained a game behind Oklahoma City for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Sebastian Telfair scored 21 points for Phoenix, which is one and a half games behind Denver and Houston, who hold the final two playoff spots in the West.

GRIZZLIES 103, JAZZ 98 O. J. Mayo scored 17 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to fuel host Memphis’s rally past Utah. Rudy Gay had 26 points and 12 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who dropped the Jazz two games behind Houston and Denver.

CLIPPERS 112, WARRIORS 104 Chris Paul had 28 points and 13 assists as Los Angeles beat visiting Golden State to close to a game behind the idle Lakers for the Pacific Division lead.

Blake Griffin scored 20 points, DeAndre Jordan 18 and Mo Williams 14 in the Clippers’ third straight win and the 11th in their last 13 games. They are chasing the Lakers for the third playoff seed in the Western Conference with six games remaining.

The reserve Nate Robinson led the Warriors with 28 points, including four 3-pointers. David Lee, Richard Jefferson, Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry of sat out with injuries.

PACERS 105, BUCKS 99 Roy Hibbert had 23 points and 14 rebounds, including six free throws in the final 74 seconds, to lead Indiana to a victory at Milwaukee.

Monta Ellis had 20 points for the Bucks, who fell two and a half games behind the Knicks and Philadelphia, who hold the last two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.

CAVALIERS 98, WIZARDS 89 Fresh off a stint in the N.B.A. Development League, Luke Harangody had 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead Cleveland to victory at Washington.

BRYANT LIKELY TO SIT OUT Kobe Bryant will probably miss his fifth straight game when the Lakers host Dallas on Sunday. Coach Mike Brown said that Bryant, the N.B.A. scoring leader, was likely to rest his bruised left shin.

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Celtics Beat Nets for Third Straight Win

Boston’s Kevin Garnett added 20 points and 10 rebounds for his second straight double-double. Rajon Rondo had 14 points and 13 assists for the Celtics, who improved to 18-17.

Boston played without Ray Allen, who was sick, but compensated by having five players score in double figures.

Brook Lopez had 28 points for , and Deron Williams finished with 12 points and 8 assists. MarShon Brooks, Anthony Morrow and Gerald Green scored 11 apiece for the Nets.

The Nets are still trying to recover from an eight-game losing streak last month. They had gone 3-2 since the slump, including a 93-92 road win against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.

HORNETS 97, MAVERICKS 92 Chris Kaman had 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Jarrett Jack made a key basket down the stretch as host New Orleans beat Dallas.

Jack hit a leaning jumper with 17.9 seconds left, giving the Hornets a 93-89 lead. Xavier Henry added a season-high 19 points off the bench for New Orleans. Jack had 15 points and 6 assists.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 points as Dallas lost a season-high fourth in a row.

JAZZ 99, HEAT 98 Al Jefferson had 20 points and 6 rebounds, carrying host Utah past Miami. C. J. Miles added 14 points for the Jazz.

LeBron James had 35 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat.

76ERS 105, WARRIORS 83 The host Sixers topped 100 points for the first time in 20 games as Lou Williams scored 25 points and Elton Brand had 14 points and 14 rebounds. Andre Iguodala contributed 12 points and 11 rebounds.

David Lee had 24 points and 15 rebounds for Golden State.

HAWKS 99, BUCKS 94 Vladimir Radmanovic made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 11.9 seconds remaining as Atlanta rallied past visiting Milwaukee.

Jannero Pargo scored 11 points, all in the fourth quarter, for the Hawks, who played without the injured All-Star Joe Johnson (knee). Brandon Jennings scored 34 points for the Bucks.

SPURS 102, BOBCATS 72 The host Spurs won for the 13th time in 15 games as Tony Parker scored 15 points. Richard Jefferson scored 14 points and made four 3-pointers for San Antonio.

The Bobcats (4-30) have lost 20 of their last 21.

NUGGETS 117, ROCKETS 105 Ty Lawson had 22 points and a career-high 15 assists as Denver prevailed at Houston.

Arron Afflalo scored 16 of his 17 points in the second half for the Nuggets. Kenneth Faried added 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Kevin Martin scored a season-high 35 points for the Rockets.

112, 91 Luol Deng scored 24 points and Derrick Rose added 19 as Chicago routed host Cleveland, which was without the rookie guard Kyrie Irving.

Irving missed his fourth game with an illness. Antawn Jamison scored 22 points for Cleveland.

GRIZZLIES 102, RAPTORS 99 Rudy Gay had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Mike Conley and Marc Gasol each scored 21, and visiting Memphis earned its sixth straight victory over Toronto.

O. J. Mayo scored 16 points and Dante Cunningham added 11 for the Grizzlies.

Jerryd Bayless had 18 points and James Johnson 14 for the Raptors, who have lost 9 of 12.

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Celtics Top Nets for 3rd Straight, Move Above .500

Kevin Garnett added 20 points and 10 rebounds for his second straight double-double and third in four games. Rajon Rondo joined him with a double-double, finishing with 14 points and 13 assists for Boston (18-17).

The Celtics were playing without Ray Allen, who was sick Friday night, but still controlled nearly the entire game and had five players score in double figures. Boston also had assists on 35 of its 45 field goals and topped 100 points for the third time in four games.

Brook Lopez had 28 points for the Nets and Deron Williams finished with 12 points and eight assists. MarShon Brooks, Anthony Morrow and Gerald Green scored 11 apiece for New Jersey.

New Jersey is still trying to recover from an eight-game losing streak last month. The Nets had gone 3-2 since the skid, including a 93-92 road win over the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, but slipped back to their old form on Friday night.

The Celtics shot 50 percent in the first half, taking a 58-40 lead into the break. Boston controlled the lane, outscoring New Jersey 32-18 inside and running for 14 fast-break points while holding the Nets to none.

Mickael Pietrus scored 11 and reserve Chris Wilcox had 14 points and seven rebounds while playing 27 minutes, 41 seconds — the longest night for any Boston player. Most of his teammates were enjoying a rest at the end after shutting down a brief rally by the Nets.

The Nets continued to unravel in the third quarter, as Garnett scored eight early in the period, then Pierce converted a three-point play to put the Celtics up 73-49 with 6:27 left in the period. New Jersey was playing a man down because Lopez was still at the other end complaining his shot that was blocked by Brandon Bass should have been called goaltending.

There was no whistle and Rondo found Pierce under the basket for an easy layup as DeShawn Stevenson committed the foul.

The Celtics’ lead grew to 26 before the Nets rallied to make it a little interesting near the end of the third with a 15-4 run. Green scored on three straight dunks, including a towering alley-oop from Brooks, during the surge, but the Nets still couldn’t get closer than 14.

Garnett opened the fourth with a long jumper for the Celtics, who didn’t allow the Nets to threaten again.

Notes: The Celtics had lost five straight entering the All-Star break. … Pierce missed the final minutes of the second quarter, heading to the locker room to be treated for cramps. He was back on the floor for the start of the third quarter. … The Nets committed 20 turnovers while losing their fourth straight in Boston.

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