Paul Pierce scored 23 points, and the Boston Celtics beat the New York Knicks 102-96 on Monday night in a heated first meeting of the season between the Atlantic Division rivals.
Kevin Garnett added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who even without the suspended Rajon Rondo won their third straight and finally are playing like the team that has ruled the division for the last half-decade.
The Knicks want that title now, but Carmelo Anthony and his teammates were reminded how tough the Celtics can make it.
Anthony had 20 points, but shot six of 26 while battling his temper, Garnett and foul trouble. J.R. Smith led the Knicks with 24 points.
BULLS 118, CAVALIERS 92
In Chicago, Carlos Boozer had 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Bulls to a rout of the Cavaliers.
It was the third straight game that Boozer has eclipsed 20 points. This time he did it against the team that drafted him in 2002.
Joakim Noah added 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Luol Deng had 19 points and seven assists for the Bulls, who beat the Cavaliers for an 11th straight time.
Chicago (19-13), which posted a season-high in points, moved to 11-1 when Boozer and Noah have double-doubles.
Dion Waiters led Cleveland (8-28) with 18 points. C.J. Miles and Kyrie Irving had 15 points apiece.
WIZARDS 101, THUNDER 99
In Washington, Bradley Beal made a jumper with 0.3 seconds left after using a pump fake to get open, and the short-handed Wizards beat the Thunder.
Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City (26-8) with 29 points.
The Wizards (5-28), playing without their top two scorers, had lost 13 of their previous 14, but they also beat the Miami Heat earlier in the season. Beal and Martell Webster led the Washington with 22 points each.
Kevin Seraphin added 19 points, and Emeka Okafor had 12 points and 12 rebounds.
The Thunder missed 16 straight shots from midway through the third quarter to midway through the fourth quarter.
HORNETS 95, SPURS 88
In New Orleans, Louisiana, Eric Gordon scored six straight points in a fourth quarter spurt and had 24 overall to lead the Hornets to a victory over San Antonio.
Anthony Davis added 17 points, Greivis Vasquez 14 and Ryan Anderson 13 for the Hornets, who have won two consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 2 to Nov. 3.
Manu Ginobili scored 21 points to lead the Spurs, who had won eight of their previous nine, dating to a 99-94 victory over the Hornets in San Antonio on Dec. 21.
Tony Parker had 16 points, Tim Duncan 13 and Kawhi Leonard 10 for San Antonio. Duncan was five of 14, at one point missing five consecutive shots in the third quarter.
The Spurs committed 19 turnovers, leading to 23 points for New Orleans.
JAZZ 100, MAVERICKS 94
In Salt Lake City, Utah, Gordon Hayward scored a season-high 27 points, including four three-pointers, and the Jazz defeated the Mavericks.
Alec Burks added a season-high 13, including eight in the fourth quarter when Utah held Dallas (13-22) to 14 points on 5-of-16 shooting.
Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs with 20 points. He had six straight late, but also was called for a charge with 32 seconds remaining as he tried to get Dallas within two.
The Jazz made four of six free throws down the stretch to seal the win. Al Jefferson added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Utah (18-18), which has won both meetings with Dallas this season.
The Mavs (13-22) have lost three straight and 12 of their last 14.
In other play on Monday, it was:
‧ Grizzlies 113, Kings 81
‧ Trail Blazers 125, Magic 119