The Boston Celtics bounced back from a nail-biting defeat to an NBA title rival by beating the New York Knicks 110-100 on Friday.
Paul Pierce scored 26 points and Ray Allen finished with 22 as the Celtics quickly returned to winning ways after the 110-109 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.
The win meant the Celtics won the season series against New York 3-1 and have won nine of the past 10 in the rivalry.
It was a fitting end to a difficult week for the Knicks, who lost to three of the NBA’s best teams and surrendered a couple of the greatest performances in Madison Square Garden history over a matter of days. Kobe Bryant scored 61 points for the Lakers on Monday and LeBron James had 52 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.
PACERS 107, MAGIC 102
In Indianapolis, Indiana, the Pacers snapped a three-game losing streak by edging Orlando.
Danny Granger scored 14 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter.
It was the 15th time he had scored 30 or more points this season for the Pacers, who avoided getting swept in the four-game season series between the two teams.
It was Orlando’s second game without All-Star point guard Jameer Nelson, who’s out for the season with a dislocated right shoulder.
HAWKS 102, BOBCATS 97
In Charlotte, North Carolina, Atlanta rallied from a 17-point deficit to overwhelm an undermanned Charlotte.
Marvin Williams scored 29 points and his impressive free-throw shooting keyed the comeback. He went 18-for-20 from the line as the Hawks won their second straight game without All-Star Joe Johnson, who is ill.
The Hawks got two big defensive plays in the final seconds to give the Bobcats their fourth straight loss.
Charlotte lost Raja Bell to a groin injury in the third quarter, and was also without top scorer Gerald Wallace for a fourth straight game.
HORNETS 101, RAPTORS 92
In New Orleans, the home team tied a franchise record with 15 three-pointers, snapping their four-game losing streak and beating Toronto.
Peja Stojakovic scored a season-high 28 points, including seven threes, his last coming during a decisive stretch in the fourth quarter when the Hornets hit six from distance in under five minutes.
Toronto lost its fifth straight.
NUGGETS 124, WIZARDS 103
In Washington, Denver welcomed back starters Kenyon Martin and Chauncey Billups to cruise past Washington.
Carmelo Anthony delivered 23 points, eight rebounds and six assists as the Nuggets celebrated their best 50-game record since they joined the NBA in 1976.
Billups came back from a sprained right ankle to score 16 points against a Wizards team that dressed only nine players because of injury and illness.
Martin, returning after missing two games with a throat infection, had his share of highlight-worthy dunks, too, finishing with 11 points and seven rebounds.
SUNS 115, WARRIORS 105
In Phoenix, the hosts pulled away in the final three-and-a-half minutes to shake off Golden State.
Grant Hill scored a season-high 27 points as the Suns avenged a loss to the Warriors two days previously. The Suns’ Shaquille O’Neal became the seventh player in NBA history to score 27,000 points.
In other games it was:
• Thunder 102, Trail Blazers 93
• Jazz 111, Kings 107
• Clippers 126, Grizzlies 105