NBA Wrap: Celtics Fall at Home 89-85 to Rockets

BOSTON — Von Wafer hit a 3-pointer with 44 seconds left to give Houston the lead as the Rockets beat the slumping Boston Celtics 89-85 in the NBA on Wednesday.

It was the sixth loss in eight games for the defending NBA champions, but their first at home since a Nov. 14 defeat to Denver sent them on a 19-game winning streak.

Yao Ming had 26 points and eight rebounds, scoring on a putback with 12.9 seconds left to help the Rockets snap a three-game losing streak and a five-game road skid.

Paul Pierce scored 26 points, and Kevin Garnett had 18 and eight rebounds for Boston.

Cavaliers 111, Bobcats 81

At Cleveland, LeBron James scored 21 points before grabbing an early seat on the bench as Cleveland warmed up for its highly anticipated matchup with Boston.

Mo Williams added 15 points to help the Cavaliers improve to 18-0 at home.

On Friday, the Celtics will arrive for a game between the Eastern Conference's premier powers, a rematch of last season's heated seven-game conference semifinal and a possible tease of what could come this spring.

Boston holds a 1-0 edge this season after beating Cleveland 90-85 at home in its opener, when the Celtics raised their 17th title banner.

Raymond Felton led Charlotte with 15 points.

Nuggets 108, Heat 97

At Denver, Chauncey Billups, Linas Kleiza and J.R. Smith scored 21 points apiece to help Denver down Miami for ite fifth straight win.

Denver played without scoring leader Carmelo Anthony, out at least three weeks after fracturing a finger on his right hand Monday.

Dwyane Wade had 31 points for Miami.

Lakers 114, Warriors 106

At Oakland, California, Pau Gasol had 33 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, Kobe Bryant added 21 points and Los Angeles beat Golden State for its seventh win in eight games.

Andrew Bynum had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, coming off a home loss to New Orleans. Jamal Crawford had 25 points and nine assists for Golden State.

Pacers 113, Suns 100

At Phoenix, Danny Granger hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, and finished with a career-high 37 points as Indiana downed Phoenix.

Granger scored at least 35 points for the third straight game. He had 35 and 36 in his previous two games.

Amare Stoudemire led Phoenix with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Shaquille O'Neal missed the game because of back spasms.

Raptors 99, Wizards 93

At Washington, Andrea Bargnani scored 25 points, and Chris Bosh added 18 for Toronto, down to nine players after trading Hassan Adams to the Los Angeles Clippers in a money-saving move.

Bargnani went 4-for-5 on 3s, and 4-for-4 on other field-goal attempts. Bosh scored half his points in the fourth quarter and had eight rebounds and six assists.

Antawn Jamison scored a season-high 32 points for Washington.

Magic 106, Hawks 102

At Atlanta, Dwight Howard had 23 points and 19 rebounds for Orlando in a matchup of the top two teams in the Southeast Division.

Orlando nearly squandered a 21-point advantage, catching a huge break when Mike Bibby missed a breakaway layup that should have pulled Atlanta within two points with just under 1 1/2 minutes remaining. Josh Smith led Atlanta with 21 points.

Nets 100, Grizzlies 89

At East Rutherford, New Jersey, Vince Carter had 25 points and a season-high 12 assists, and New Jersey won its third straight at home.

Despite playing without leading scorer Devin Harris (sore right hamstring), the Nets raced to an early double-digit lead, kept it for most of the way, and never trailed in a game for the first time this season.

Yi Jianlian added 20 points for the Nets. Memphis rookie O.J. Mayo scored 26 points, and Rudy Gay had 23.

Timberwolves 129, Thunder 87

At Minneapolis, Randy Foye matched his career high with 32 points in just three quarters and Minnesota downed Oklahoma for its fourth straight win.

Al Jefferson added 21 points and 13 rebounds for Minnesota, which has won six of its last eight following a 13-game losing streak. Russell Westbrook had 16 points and a career-high 12 assists for Oklahoma City.

76ers 110, Bucks 105

At Milwaukee, Andre Miller hit a 3-pointer with 28 seconds left, and finished wih 28 points and nine rebounds as Philadelphia beat Milwaukee.

Richard Jefferson had 27 points for Milwaukee.

Jazz 116, Hornets 90

At Salt Lake City, Paul Millsap had 27 points and 14 rebounds for Utah to extend his NBA-leading double-double streak to 19 games.

Chris Paul had 26 points and seven assists for New Orleans.  

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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