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Celtics survive scare from Hawks
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Kevin Garnett scored 10 of his 18 points in the final quarter and Atlanta's Joe Johnson missed a late free throw that would have tied it to help the Boston Celtics beat the Hawks 88-85 for their 16th straight NBA victory on Wednesday.

After Johnson missed with 2.7 seconds left, Ray Allen made a pair of free throws with 0.7 seconds left for the defending champion Celtics, who have a franchise-best 24-2 record. It was only the second loss in 10 home games for the Hawks.

Pierce added 18 points, and Allen had 16 for the Celtics.

Johnson led Atlanta with 20 points.

Jazz 103 Nets 92

At East Rutherford, New Jersey, Deron Williams had 17 points and 11 assists, and Utah overcame a seven-point first quarter.

Mehmet Okur had 23 points and nine rebounds, and Paul Millsap added 18 points and 12 rebounds in his 13th straight double-double. The Jazz lost coach Jerry Sloan after he picked up two technical fouls early in the fourth quarter.

Vince Carter scored 32 points for New Jersey.

Cavaliers 93 Timberwolves 70

At Minneapolis, LeBron James scored 32 points on 14-of-20 shooting, and Cleveland sent Minnesota to its 11th straight loss.

The Cavaliers were coming off a loss in Atlanta on Saturday that ended their winning streak at 11. They improved to 21-4, the exact opposite of Minnesota's record.

Al Jefferson led Minnesota with 20 points.

76ers 93 Bucks 88

At Philadelphia, Lou Williams matched his career high with 25 points, Andre Miller added 19 and Philadelphia overcame the loss of forward Elton Brand.

Brand dislocated his right shoulder in the third quarter after landing on Milwaukee's Luc Mbah a Moute.

The Sixers improved to 11-14 overall and 2-0 under interim coach Tony DiLeo. DiLeo replaced the fired Maurice Cheeks on Saturday.

Luke Ridnour and Charlie Bell had 14 points each for Milwaukee.

Pacers 127 Warriors 120

At Indianapolis, Danny Granger scored 17 of his 41 points in the fourth quarter, made all 17 of his free throws and had 11 rebounds and six assists for Indiana.

Jarrett Jack scored 24 points, Marquis Daniels added 23, and rookie Brandon Rush had 10 points and 11 rebounds in his second career start for Indiana.

Jamal Crawford scored 29 points for Golden State.

Mavericks 96 Raptors 86

At Toronto, Dirk Nowitzki had 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Jason Terry also scored 27 points for Dallas.

Josh Howard added 20 points for Dallas in his first start since Nov 18. Howard, who came off the bench on Monday in a loss to Denver after missing 11 games because of a sprained ankle, scored Dallas' first nine points and had 11 in the first quarter.

Jermaine O'Neal had 19 points for Toronto.

Pistons 88 Wizards 74

At Auburn Hills, Michigan, Allen Iverson scored 28 points and Rodney Stuckey added 18 points and matched his career high with 11 assists in Detroit's third win in a row.

Mike James scored 16 points, and Antawn Jamison had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Washington, an Eastern Conference-worst 4-19.

(Agencies via China Daily December 19, 2008)

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