Wizards erase 18-point deficit to top Celtics 106-99


Mon, Dec 23, 2013 - Page 20

Trevor Ariza started and finished a fourth-quarter run that carried the Washington Wizards to a 106-99 comeback win over the Boston Celtics in the NBA on Saturday.

Trailing 92-84, Ariza began the 14-1 rally with a jumper from the right corner. John Wall had five of his 20 points in the surge, which was interrupted only by a free-throw by Jared Sullinger that gave Boston a 93-91 lead with 3 minutes, 39 seconds remaining.

Nene tied the game with a short baseline jumper, while Wall gave the Wizards their first lead courtesy of a 20-footer to put the score at 95-93 with 2:50 left.

Marcin Gortat then blocked Sullinger’s shot and Ariza hit a three-pointer with 2:25 remaining to put Washington ahead 98-93.

Ariza scored 27 points in Washington’s third straight victory.

The Celtics had entered the game in first place in the East’s Atlantic Division.

In San Antonio, Texas, Russell Westbrook had 31 points as Oklahoma City used a strong second quarter to beat the Spurs and claim their ninth straight victory.

Reggie Jackson had 21 points, Kevin Durant added 17, while Serge Ibaka had 14 points and 14 rebounds for Oklahoma City.

Tony Parker scored 23 points, while Marco Belinelli and Tim Duncan had 17 points apiece for San Antonio, who fell at home for only the second time this season.

Elsewhere in the NBA, the Memphis Grizzlies ended a five-game losing streak by beating the woeful New York Knicks 95-87.

The Knicks tried to change their luck in home day games, which they first lost by 41 points to the Celtics and then by 31 to San Antonio in noon starts, by staying in a hotel the night before. They were much more competitive, but far from good enough until it was too late.

In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Dwight Howard had 35 points and 19 rebounds, leading the short-handed Houston Rockets to a 114-97 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

In one of his best games since joining the Rockets in the off-season, Howard dominated Andre Drummond — Detroit’s promising 20-year-old big man — to help Houston control the game despite the absences of injured guard James Harden, Jeremy Lin, who has been bothered by back spasms, and guard Patrick Beverley, out due to a fractured right hand.

Elsewhere in the NBA, Carlos Boozer scored 19 points and the short-handed Chicago Bulls ended a four-game losing streak with a 100-84 victory over Cleveland.

D.J. Augustin scored 18, while Tony Snell came on strong in the second half to finish with 17 points and help Chicago prevail after matching their longest slide in four years under coach Tom Thibodeau.

In Phoenix, Arizona, Eric Bledsoe scored 25 points as the Suns matched their season high of 15 three-pointers — in 30 tries — to beat Dallas 123-108 in their highest-scoring game of the season.

Gerald Green made four of eight three-pointers en route to 22 points, while Channing Frye made four of six and scored 18, and Bledsoe made three of four from beyond the arc.

In Saturday’s other games, the Sacramento Kings held off the Orlando Magic 105-100, the Utah Jazz edged the Charlotte Bobcats 88-85, Golden State shook off a slow start to rout the injury-hit Los Angeles Lakers 102-83, the Clippers overcame the Nuggets 112-91, the Trail Blazers outclassed the Pelicans 110-107 and the Bucks defeated the 76ers 106-116.