The Boston Celtics coped admirably without suspended point guard Rajon Rondo on Monday as Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett came through in a 102-96 NBA victory over the New York Knicks.
Pierce scored 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting and Garnett contributed 19 points and 10 rebounds as the Celtics won their third straight.
Avery Bradley stood in for Rondo after the All-Star guard was banned for one game for bumping an official in a win at Atlanta on Saturday, scoring 13 points with five assists.
Jeff Green chipped in 16 points off the bench and the Celtics played tough defense to limit New York to 40.8 percent shooting.
Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points for New York, but shot just 6-of-26 from the field. His points total was his lowest since he scored 20 against Washington on November 30. Over the last 10 games he had averaged more than 34 points.
J.R. Smith finished with 24 points and Tyson Chandler had 13 along with 17 rebounds in the loss for the Atlantic Division-leading Knicks.
The Celtics have strung together three straight wins for just the second time this season. They also won three in a row from November 10-14.
In Chicago, Carlos Boozer had 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 118-92 rout of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Bradley Beal made a jumper with 0.3 seconds left after using a pump fake to get open, and the short-handed Washington Wizards beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-99 at Washington.
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.
Eric Gordon scored six straight points in a fourth quarter spurt and had 24 overall to lead the New Orleans Hornets to a 95-88 victory over San Antonio Spurs at New Orleans.
At the Salt lake city, Gordon Hayward scored a season-high 27 points, including four 3-pointers, and the Utah Jazz defeated the Dallas Mavericks 100-94.
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.
Wayne Ellington scored a season-high 26 points, hitting six 3-pointers, to help the Memphis Grizzlies rout the Sacramento Kings 113-81 at Sacramento.
Zach Randolph scored 17 points and had seven rebounds for Memphis. Mike Conley had 15 points and eight assists and Marc Gasol had 13 points for the Grizzlies, who outscored the Kings 36-20 in the third quarter to blow the game open.
In Portland, LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and 10 rebounds, and the Portland Trail Blazers handed the Orlando Magic their ninth straight loss 125-119 in overtime.
Portland has won three straight and 11 of its last 14 games.Agencies