Celts cave in to Cavs

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BOSTON – LeBron James scored 32 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 27 points and 11 rebounds to lift the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 107-104 victory over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.

Cleveland won for the fifth time in six games and has beaten the Celtics seven straight times. James scored only four points in the fourth quarter but has averaged 35 points during the Cavaliers’ winning streak against Boston.

After Ilgauskas put the Cavaliers ahead 105-101 with 43 seconds remaining, Wally Szczerbiak hit a pair of free throws and Tony Allen made one to cut Cleveland’s lead to 105-104. Allen then fouled James with 7.6 seconds left on the inbounds and he drained a pair of free throws before Szczerbiak missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Cleveland won for the second time in its last seven road games and tied Orlando and Chicago for most wins in the Eastern Conference with 19.

Allen scored 22 points and Al Jefferson added 18 points and 12 rebounds for Boston, which has won once in the last eight games.

James connected on an 80-foot heave as time expired in the third quarter to give Cleveland an 82-76 lead. James had 14 in the period and the Cavaliers closed the quarter with a 12-1 run.

Reserve Gerald Green had 21 points, including 14 in the second quarter for Boston, which fell to 4-11 at home.

Ilgauskas led Cleveland and Jefferson paced Boston with 11 points while the teams combined for 13 turnovers in the first quarter. James capped an 8-0 run with a 10-foot jumper to pull the Cavaliers to 45-43 with 2:58 remaining in the first half. The Celtics were ahead 54-49 at the break. Drew Gooden added 13 and grabbed 12 rebounds for Cleveland.

Wizards 108, Bucks 105

WASHINGTON – Gilbert Arenas hit a long 3-pointer at the buzzer, capping a 32-point game and giving the Washington Wizards a 108-105 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.

Arenas hit his 30-footer, turned and strolled calmly away as if it were another shot on the playground, even as his teammates mobbed him in celebration. Arenas had three things working against him – a sore shooting shoulder, the Bucks’ zone defense and the old leather ball which he dislikes – but he went 12-for-25 from the field and had 11 rebounds and eight assists.

Caron Butler added 29 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, and Antawn Jamison had 22 points for the Wizards, who earned a split of a home-and-home series. The Bucks beat Washington 119-102 in Milwaukee on Saturday.

Clippers 110, Heat 95

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MIAMI – It was a difficult day for the Miami Heat, and the Los Angeles Clippers made things worse for the free-falling NBA champions.

Elton Brand scored 28 points and Chris Kaman added 20 as the Clippers easily beat Miami 110-95 on Wednesday night, hours after Heat coach Pat Riley deactivated two forwards whose body fat readings aren’t within team parameters, then began an indefinite leave of absence because of his knee and hip problems.

Suns 100, Raptors 98

TORONTO – Steve Nash scored 13 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 100-98 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

Nash was only 1-for-7 from the field through three quarters, but he recovered in the fourth. The two-time MVP – dubbed “Captain Canada” – scored eight of Phoenix’s final nine points.

Grizzlies 144, Warriors 135

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Mike Miller scored a season-high 33 points and Pau Gasol added 24 points and 13 rebounds Wednesday night to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 144-135 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

Miller connected on 11 of 15 shots, including 9-of-12 from 3-point range, while Gasol shot 9-of-14. Stromile Swift had 26 points and nine rebounds, while Rudy Gay added 22 points for Memphis. Damon Stoudamire scored 18 points and had 16 assists.

Wolves 103, Spurs 101

MINNEAPOLIS – Mark Blount scored 28 points, Kevin Garnett had 27 points and 17 rebounds, and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the San Antonio Spurs 103-101 in overtime on Wednesday night.

Minnesota made six straight free throws, Trenton Hassell grabbed a key rebound late in overtime, and the Timberwolves beat the Spurs for the first time in six tries.

Rockets 103, Sonics 96

HOUSTON – Tracy McGrady scored 31 points, topping 30 for the third straight game, and Juwan Howard added 18 as the Houston Rockets beat the Seattle SuperSonics 103-96 on Wednesday night.

McGrady also had seven assists and Dikembe Mutombo grabbed 14 rebounds as the Rockets won their fourth straight game. Houston is 4-1 since Yao Ming broke a bone in his right leg.

Ray Allen scored 32 on 13-of-22 shooting for the Sonics, who’ve lost four of their last five and 10 in a row on the road. Damien Wilkins added 19.

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