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Rondo powers Celtics to win over Knicks and brink of club record
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Rajon Rondo scored 18 of his 26 points in the third quarter to help the Boston Celtics tie a club record with their 18th straight win, beating the New York Knicks 124-105 last night.

Boston can break the record, set in 1981-82, at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night.

Ray Allen had 18 points, Paul Pierce 17, Kevin Garnett 12 and Kendrick Perkins 12 for the Celtics.

Quentin Richardson led the Knicks with 29 points and Nate Robinson had 23. Chris Duhon added 20 with 10 assists.

Cavaliers 102, Thunder 91

At Oklahoma City, LeBron James scored 31 points, Mo Williams added 20 and Cleveland finished a four-game road trip.

James eclipsed 30 points for the fourth straight game and Kevin Durant scored 26 for the Thunder. Russell Westbrook added 22 points, matching his career-high with 11 assists, and Jeff Green scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Delonte West hit his first five shots and finished with 18 points against his former team as Cleveland won for the 22nd time in 24 games to extend the best start in team history.

Mavericks 97, Wizards 86

At Washington, Jason Terry scored 25 points and Dirk Nowitzki had 23 to help Dallas send the Washington Wizards to their sixth straight loss.

Washington tied a 42-year-old franchise record for worst start ?the 1966-67 Baltimore Bullets also started 4-21.

The win was Dallas' 13th in 17, even though the Mavericks made only five of 30 3-pointers two nights after a 24-point loss at New Jersey.

Hawks 85, Pistons 78

At Atlanta, Mike Bibby put an end to Detroit's domination of the Hawks, scoring a season-high 27 points.

Detroit trailed by 18 points early in the second half before launching a steady comeback in the matchup of second-place teams.

The Pistons cut the lead to 80-76 on a basket by Rasheed Wallace with 2:30 remaining, but Bibby answered with a jumper.

The Pistons swept the four-game series with the Hawks last season, but each of the games came before Atlanta acquired Bibby from Sacramento. Detroit had won 12 of the last 16 in Atlanta.

Johnson had 19 points and seven assists. Al Horford added 11 points and 11 rebounds and Josh Smith also had 11 points for Atlanta. Rodney Stuckey and Wallace each had 20 points for Detroit.

(Agencies via Shanghai Daily December 22, 2008)

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