Rajon Rondo scored 12 of his career-high 25 points in the final 5:20 and Kevin Garnett had 19 points and 10 rebounds on Monday to lead the Boston Celtics to their 15th consecutive victory, 100-91 over the Utah Jazz.
Kendrick Perkins added 15 points and 14 rebounds for Boston, which avenged the worst loss of its championship season. Paul Pierce scored 15 points before he hurt his left knee during a scramble for a defensive rebound with 31 seconds left. He said he should be all right.
Paul Millsap scored a career-high 32 points with 10 rebounds for Utah.
KINGS 118, TIMBERWOLVES 103
At Sacramento, California, Francisco Garcia scored 21 points and John Salmons added 17 as Sacramento beat Minnesota in the Kings’ first game under interim coach Kenny Natt.
A few hours after the Kings fired Reggie Theus and replaced him with Natt, he presided over one of Sacramento’s best efforts of the season against the Timberwolves, who lost their 10th straight. Brad Miller added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings in just their second win in 12 games.
Al Jefferson scored all of his 22 points in the first half for Minnesota in a meeting of struggling teams that both fired their head coaches in the past eight days. The Timberwolves dropped to 0-5 under Kevin McHale, who replaced Randy Wittman last week.
SUNS 111, KNICKS 103
At Phoenix, Steve Nash scored 21 points, including a game-clinching 3-pointer with 28 seconds to play, as the Suns spoiled New York coach Mike D’Antoni’s return to Phoenix.
Shaquille O’Neal had 23 points, making 11 of 18 free throws, and 12 rebounds. Amare Stoudemire added 21 points and 14 boards for the Suns, who topped 110 points for the fourth game in a row.
Nate Robinson scored 27, 17 after halftime, in his second game back from a groin injury for New York. Al Harrington added 24, but D’Antoni’s run-and-shoot squad was just 5-of-37 on 3-pointers.
NUGGETS 98, MAVERICKS 88
At Dallas, reserve J.R. Smith scored 25 points and Carmelo Anthony added 23 as Denver beat Dallas to extend its winning streak to four games.
Chauncey Billups had 15 points and eight assists for the Nuggets, who have won seven of eight and improved to 16-4 since Billups joined the team after a Nov. 3 trade with the Detroit Pistons.
Dirk Nowitzki had 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Jason Terry scored 19 points for the Mavericks, who had won 11 of their previous 13.
BUCKS 98, HEAT 83
At Miami, Michael Redd scored 16 of his 21 points in the first quarter and Milwaukee started quickly before holding off a late rally to beat Miami.
Andrew Bogut had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Charlie Villanueva added 20 points for Milwaukee, which won on the road for the first time since beating Charlotte on Nov. 22.
NETS 94, RAPTORS 87
At Toronto, Vince Carter had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Ryan Anderson scored 21 points as New Jersey beat Toronto to snap a three-game losing streak.
Devin Harris added 16 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter.
Carter scored a season-high 39 points in a 129-127 overtime victory at Toronto on Nov. 21, but had only three points and shot a career-worst 0-for-13 against his former team as the Raptors beat the Nets 101-79 last Friday.
In other games, it was:
• Pacers 118, Wizards 98
• Hawks 83, Bobcats 79
• Magic 109, Warriors 98