Celtics fall to Cavs travel to Detroit

The Boston Celtics (14-11) got behind against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers last night and could never quite climb back out of the hole they dug for themselves.  Even after taking a 50-45 lead with nine minutes remaining, the Cavaliers went on a 12-0 run and never looked back.

“At the end of the game, when you’re trying to come back, you’re trying to whittle the lead away, they can just get a matchup they like and then keep you at bay because of their talent,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.

Now the Celtics must turn their attention to the Detroit Pistons (14-12) tonight.  The Pistons are coming off a 105-103 win over the Clippers last night.

“I like our group,” coach Stan Van Gundy told the team’s official website. “It’s stepping up and competing hard against good teams. We’re right there.”

Plenty of great seats and affordable tickets are still available so be sure to get yours today and cheer on your Celtics on the road!

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Celtics Slow Down the Pacers and Steady Themselves

Paul Pierce scored 24 points and the Celtics beat the , 86-72, on Saturday night.

The Celtics lead their division by two games over the Philadelphia 76ers, who lost by 88-82 to the Orlando Magic on Saturday.

“They’re playing at a very, very high level,” Indiana Coach Frank Vogel said of the Celtics. “They have a championship coach and a championship core. They know how to get it done.”

Danny Granger scored 20 points for the Pacers, who had won four in a row and had scored more than 100 points in five consecutive games. But against the Celtics, they matched their lowest point total of the season. Indiana shot 35 percent from the field and committed 19 turnovers.

“This is just a bump in the road for us, and we must put it behind us and get ready for the next game,” Granger said. “We had several shots that could have dropped, but they didn’t.”

The Celtics and the Pacers split their four-game season series.

The Pacers were coming off a home win against Oklahoma City on Friday night, but they looked tired against the Celtics.

Boston took a 22-19 lead, then held the Pacers scoreless for the next 7 minutes 23 seconds to take a 36-19 lead.

“I thought defensively, we were sensational tonight,” Boston Coach Doc Rivers said.

MAGIC 88, 76ERS 82 Dwight Howard had 20 points and 22 rebounds, and Glen Davis had 23 points and 12 rebounds to help visiting Orlando end a five-game losing streak and take the focus off its well-publicized rift. Coach Stan Van Gundy disclosed last week that Howard wanted him fired, but 76ers Coach Doug Collins said that was nothing new.

“It’s been a season of drama throughout the league,” he said.

His own team might be due for some. Philadelphia has lost 9 of 13 and is in danger of missing a playoff spot after leading the Atlantic Division for much of the season. The 76ers are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, but only a game ahead of the eighth-place Knicks, and a game and half ahead of ninth-place Milwaukee.

BUCKS 116, TRAIL BLAZERS 94 Beno Udrih scored a season-high 21 points and Brandon Jennings also had 21 for host Milwaukee. The Bucks have won four in a row and are .500 (28-28) for the first time since they were 2-2.

HORNETS 99, TIMBERWOLVES 90 Jason Smith had a career-high 26 points and 10 rebounds for host New Orleans. Minnesota has lost 5 in a row and 13 of 17.

GRIZZLIES 94, MAVERICKS 89 Rudy Gay scored 25 points and host Memphis moved two games ahead of Dallas for fifth place in the Western Conference.

HAWKS 116, BOBCATS 96 Eight players for Atlanta scored in double digits at Charlotte. The Hawks broke open the game in the third quarter with a season-high 38 points.

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Depleted Celtics Hold the Magic to 56 Points

Paul Pierce and the former Magic forward Brandon Bass each scored 19 points to carry the injury-riddled Celtics to an 87-56 win over Orlando on Monday night in Boston.

The Magic set franchise lows for points and field goals (16).

“Defensively, that was as good as you can get,” Rivers said after his team matched a club record for fewest points allowed in the shot-clock era, also accomplished last season against Milwaukee.

Boston was minus the starters Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo and three bench players.

Avery Bradley and Sasha Pavlovic started in the backcourt for Boston and attempted to pressure Orlando’s guards early, helping the Celtics pick up the defensive pressure.

Dwight Howard led the Magic with 18 points and 14 rebounds.

“They came out and absolutely dominated us with their energy and defensive intensity,” Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy said.

ROCKETS 107, TIMBERWOLVES 92 Kevin Martin scored 31 points to lead Houston to its seventh straight victory in Coach Kevin McHale’s first game back at Target Center since he was fired by Minnesota in 2009.

BULLS 110, NETS 95 Derrick Rose and Richard Hamilton each scored 22 points to lead banged-up Chicago at home. Rose had eight assists and hung with Deron Williams after missing four games with a sprained left big toe.

MAVERICKS 93, SUNS 87 Shawn Marion scored a season-high 29 points and short-handed Dallas stretched its home winning streak to seven games.

SPURS 104, HORNETS 102 Tim Duncan sank a 13-foot running hook with 1.4 seconds left to finish with a season-high 28 points, and San Antonio sent host New Orleans to its eighth straight loss.

103, 83 had 17 points and 9 rebounds for Philadelphia, which improved to 8-1 at home.

THUNDER 99, PISTONS 79 Russell Westbrook and the reserve James Harden each scored 24 points in Oklahoma City’s fourth straight blowout win at home.

HAWKS 97, BUCKS 92 Joe Johnson scored 15 of his season-high 28 points in the fourth quarter, rallying visiting Atlanta.

WEST ON JACKSON Jerry West, who lured Phil Jackson to Los Angeles to coach the Lakers, said he would not be surprised if Jackson wound up where he started his career, with the Knicks.

West, speaking in theory because in fact the Knicks have a coach in Mike D’Antoni, said, “I think it would be an unbelievably popular hire.” Referring to Jackson, who is in the first year of his third retirement from coaching, he added, “It’s probably a shame if he doesn’t coach again.”

In an , Jackson, 66, said he twice has turned down chances to return to the team he played for from 1967 to 1978. West and Jackson had a chilly relationship, but their collaboration produced three N.B.A. championships, in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

On Monday, speaking at media day for the Northern Trust Open, a PGA Tour stop in Pacific Palisades, Calif., for which he is the executive director and chief fund-raiser, West said: “It was evident I didn’t have a relationship with Phil. I respected him for what he did. He did the job he was hired to do.” He added, “He’s done great work everywhere he’s been.” KAREN CROUSE

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