The Boston Celtics held off a late Los Angeles challenge to edge the Clippers 106-104 in the NBA on Sunday, improving to a 4-0 record since losing Rajon Rondo to a season-ending knee injury.
On a day in which the NBA carried on in the shadow of the NFL’s Super Bowl, Miami got their 10th straight win over Toronto, while the Los Angeles Lakers had narrow victory over Detroit.
Boston’s Paul Pierce scored 22 points while Jeff Green and Leando Barbosa each had 14 for the Celtics, who clung on to beat the Clippers.
The Clippers pulled to 103-101 on a three-pointer by Eric Bledsoe with 56 seconds to go. However, Avery Bradley drew an offensive foul on Los Angeles’ Jamal Crawford with 26 seconds to go and Pierce held on to the ball before making a three-pointer with two-and-a-half seconds left.
The Clippers were led by Bledsoe, replacing Paul, and Crawford, who made a three-pointer at the buzzer, with 23 points each.
Miami’s LeBron James scored 30 points and Chris Bosh had 28 against his former team as the Heat downed the Toronto Raptors 100-85.
The Heat clinched the best record in the Eastern Conference through Sunday, meaning that coach Erik Spolestra will coach the East in the All-Star game. Rudy Gay led the Raptors with 29 points.
The Lakers won 98-97 at the Detroit Pistons, due in no small part to the efforts of Pau Gasol, who had 23 points and 10 rebounds and contested Detroit’s last-second alley-oop attempt to clinch the win.
The Lakers blew an 18-point third-quarter lead, but went back ahead on a three-point play with one minute and nine seconds remaining. That gave the Lakers a 98-95 lead and they held on despite missing four free throws in the final 16.8 seconds.
Kobe Bryant scored 18 points for the Lakers, who have won five of six. Greg Monroe had 20 points for Detroit.