Boston outlasts Nuggets in 3 OTs
Pierce powers Celtics to 118-114 win ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Boston Celtics relied on their veterans to help them win the matchup of the NBA's two hottest teams.
Paul Pierce had 27 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists and the Celtics extended their winning streak to seven games with a 118-114 triple overtime victory over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.
Boston's win also ended Denver's winning streak at nine games.
Pierce made a tying 3-pointer in the second overtime to make it 107-107 and extend the game.
"I mean that's what great players do. I would love to tell you I had something to do with it," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "I was sitting just like the fans saying, "Please, Lord, Paul make a shot."
Kevin Garnett had 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds while Jason Terry scored a season-high 26 points off the bench.
"It seems like Garnett has a huge heart and wanted to win the game and he made some big time shots," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "His range has improved and it's about time he get that respect."
Pierce, Garnett and Terry are the only active Celtics with championship rings since point guard Rajon Rondo's season-ending knee injury. The Celtics remain unbeaten in Rondo's absence.
Terry hit a 3-pointer with 1:33 remaining in the third overtime to put the Celtics ahead 116-113.
Danilo Gallinari, who finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, hit a free throw, but Denver would not get any closer.
"Hard to believe these guys don't have an all-star," Garnett said. "That baffles me ... Gallinari, Lawson ... they have deserving guys."
Terry, who had missed five consecutive 3-point shots in the first two overtimes, also made the defensive play of the game when he stole the ball from Andre Miller with 35 seconds remaining.
Denver had one last gasp as Miller missed a 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds remaining before Terry dribbled the ball up the court and made a layup at the buzzer to finish the scoring.
"We're not into moral victories, but it was one of those games," Miller said. "It was a fun game and I'm sure everybody was tired."
Denver's Ty Lawson had 29 points, nine assists and six rebounds and hit several key shots, including a running bank shot to send the game into overtime tied at 92-92.
Clippers 102, Knicks 88: Chris Paul scored 25 points in his second game back from injury, and reserve Jamal Crawford had 27 as Los Angeles clipped New York.
Blake Griffin finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who bounced back from a 22-point loss in Miami on Friday to win for just the fourth time in 12 games.
Heat 107, Lakers 97: LeBron James scored 32 points on 12-for-18 shooting in a record-setting show, and Dwyane Wade scored 30 as Miami Los Angeles for its fifth straight win.
It was James' fifth straight game with at least 30 points, a franchise record. He's shot better than 60 percent in all five of those games.
Thunder 97, Suns 69: Thabo Sefolosha made a career-high 5 of 7 3-pointers as Oklahoma City routed Phoenix for the second game in a row.
Russell Westbrook scored 24 points in 28 minutes in the Thunder's 10th straight victory over Phoenix, the longest active streak for any Suns opponent.
Spurs 111, Nets 86: Tony Parker had 29 points and 11 assists in another brilliant performance without his two sidekicks, and San Antonio dominated the second half to beat Brooklyn.
Two nights after a loss in Detroit ended their 11-game winning streak, the Spurs got back on track quickly behind Parker, who fell short of his third straight 30-point game only because he was so good he sat out the final minutes of the rout.
Grizzlies 105, Timberwolves 88: Tayshaun Prince scored 18 points, hitting all eight of his shots from the field, and Memphis pulled away in the second quarter before coasting to a victory over Minnesota.
Three other Memphis players -- Zach Randolph, Mike Conley and Austin Daye -- each finished with 16 points. Conley also handed out eight assists, while Randolph grabbed eight rebounds to help the Grizzlies win their second straight.
Magic 110, Blazers 104: J.J. Redick scored 22 points, Nikola Vucevic added 17 points and 19 rebounds as Orlando snapped a 12-game losing streak.
Kings 117, Rockets 111: Isaiah Thomas scored 17 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and John Salmons also had 23 points to help rally Sacramento past Houston.
Raptors 102, Hornets 89: John Lucas scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter to match his season high, and Rudy Gay had 20 points to front Toronto.