Wed, Jan 13, 2010 - Page 19 News List

NBA : Hawks swoop late to beat Celts

MEDICAL PROBLEMS Boston was missing injured Kevin Garnett because of a knee injury, and his replacement Rasheed Wallace also sat out because of a sore left foot

REUTERS , BOSTON

The Boston Celtics’ Glen Davis, left, fouls the Atlanta Hawks’ Marvin Williams during their game in Boston, Massachusetts, on Sunday. The Hawks won 102-96.

PHOTO: AFP

Joe Johnson scored 36 points to lift the Atlanta Hawks to a second win over a depleted Boston Celtics in four days with a 102-96 triumph on Monday.

Johnson led a comeback effort with 12 points in the fourth when the Hawks finally nudged ahead after trailing for most of the contest, including a 14 point deficit in the third quarter.

Atlanta guard Jamal Crawford added 17 off the bench, including the game’s final six points, breaking a 96-96 tie at 2:14 to play with two free throws and then adding a lay-up and late jumper to pull away from a subdued Celtics.

Rajon Rondo recorded 26 points and seven assists and Paul Pierce put up 19 and eight rebounds for the Celtics (26-10), who lost to the Hawks for the third time this season — they fell 93-85 to Atlanta (24-13) on Friday.

Boston shot 55 percent from the field including 10-for-20 in three-pointers, but were plagued by 16 turnovers and failed to convert any big plays in the final moments.

The Celtics were again without defensive leader Kevin Garnett, missing his sixth straight game with a knee injury.

Offseason acquisition Rasheed Wallace, who had been starting in place of Garnett, also skipped the contest because of a sore left foot.

Without two key players, Boston’s cause was also hampered by the ejection of coach Doc Rivers for arguing a call midway through the third quarter.

“It was just a terrible situation whether it was justified or not,” said Boston veteran Ray Allen, who had 16 points.

Atlanta pulled within one game of the Orlando Magic for the Southeast Division lead.

■NUGGETS V T’WOLVES

REUTERS, DENVER

Carmelo Anthony marked his return from a two-week injury layoff with 24 points to spark the Denver Nuggets to a 105-94 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The NBA’s leading scorer played 34 minutes in his first appearance since missing five games because of a knee injury suffered on Dec. 28.

Anthony showed little sign of rust, making two straight three-pointers in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory.

Chauncey Billups added 18 points and 10 assists for the Nuggets (24-14), who stretched an eight-point halftime lead to an 85-70 advantage by the end of the third.

Minnesota (8-31) had defeated Denver (24-14) in their last meeting on Nov. 29 but could not repeat the feat despite 25 points from Corey Brewer as well as 22 and 15 boards from Al Jefferson.

The Timberwolves defeated the Nuggets on Nov. 29 when they ended Denver’s 17-game home winning streak.

■CAVALIERS V WARRIORS

AP, OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA

LeBron James had 37 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds as Cleveland ran its winning streak against Golden State to four games with a 117-114 victory.

Shaquille O’Neal added 13 points and six rebounds and three Cleveland reserves scored in double digits in the Cavs’ fourth straight win at Oracle Arena.

After a victory at Portland on Sunday, the Cavaliers won playing on consecutive nights for the sixth time in 11 tries this season but had to hold off a late rally by the Warriors. Monta Ellis had 30 points, five assists and five steals, but missed 11 straight shots during a stretch spanning the second and third quarters.

In other NBA action, it was:

• 76ers 96, Hornets 92

• Pacers 105, Raptors 101

• Bulls 120, Pistons 87

• Thunder 106, Knicks 88

• Jazz 118, Heat 89

• Suns 105, Bucks 101

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