Kevin Garnett banked in a shot off an alley-oop pass with 1.4 seconds left to give the Boston Celtics their ninth straight victory, 102-101 over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday.
After Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala drove for a hook shot with 6.6 seconds left to give Philadelphia a 101-100 lead, Rajon Rondo flipped a long pass to Garnett for the winner.
Garnett then raced to midcourt to intercept the 76ers’ inbounds pass.
Ray Allen led Eastern Conference-leading Boston with 23 points, Rondo had 19 points and 14 assists, Glen Davis added 16 points and Garnett finished with 14.
Jodie Meeks led Philadelphia with 19 points, while Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young had 16 each, and Elton Brand added 13 points and 14 rebounds.
MAVERICKS 102, NETS 89
In Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Shawn Marion added 18 points as Dallas stretched their winning streak to 11 games, spoiling former Dallas Mavericks coach Avery Johnson’s return.
Johnson, fired by the Mavericks after the 2007 to 2008 season, is in his first season with the Nets.
Jason Terry and Caron Butler added 15 points each, and J.J. Barea had a career-high 13 assists to help the Mavericks extend the NBA’s longest current winning streak.
Brook Lopez led New Jersey with 24 points.
TRAIL BLAZERS 97, MAGIC 83
In Portland, Oregon, the Trail Blazers overcame the Orlando Magic despite a dominant effort from All-Star big man Dwight Howard.
Howard scored 39 points and grabbed 15 rebounds but the Blazers (11-11) locked down defensively on his teammates to win their third straight game.
Andre Miller returned from a one-game suspension with 22 points and eight assists, while Wesley Matthews added 20 for Portland.
Miller was penalized by the NBA for excessive and unnecessary contact at the weekend when he barged into Los Angeles Clippers rookie Blake Griffin, in retaliation for an earlier play.
His absence snapped his consecutive games played streak at 632.
“It’s real messed up what happened, I was out there being aggressive. I had my chance to take a shot, I did that, and I have to deal with the consequences,” Miller told reporters.
“We need everybody. We want to create easy baskets and however the game plays out we’re good with it,” Miller said.
The Blazers fell behind by 14 in the first half where Howard sizzled with 26 points, but closed the gap to just 46-45 at halftime before sending Orlando (15-7) to its third straight loss.
Portland outscored the Magic 52-37 in the second half to take control.
Orlando has been dealing with a flu bug that has affected much of the team over the past week.
Jameer Nelson returned from a three-game absence with illness, while J.J. Redick, Mickael Pietrus and Howard all missed previous time.
The team looked rusty as Howard was one of just a few Orlando players to make more than half of his shots.
Nelson made just 4 of 14 attempts while guard Vince Carter struggled to a 2-for-12 night.
“We have to play the game better, and we have to play it with a lot more energy, alertness and cohesiveness,” said Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy.
“Obviously, you want to win every night, but the results will take care of themselves if you play a certain way,” he said.