BOSTON – Paul Pierce scored 29 points in three quarters and Wally Szczerbiak added 19 to help the Boston Celtics beat the Portland Trail Blazers 118-90 on Friday night.

Delonte West scored 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter for the Celtics, who have won two straight after starting the season 1-6.

Boston, which outscored Indiana 67-43 in the second half of its 114-88 win on Wednesday, outscored Portland 68-47 in the second half Friday. Neither Pierce nor Szczerbiak had to play in the fourth quarter.

Pierce scored 12 points in the third quarter to help the Celtics take a 77-65 lead.

West then shot 5-of-6 in the fourth as Boston scored on its first 10 possessions of the period.

Zach Randolph had 23 points and 12 rebounds and Ime Udoka added 14 points for the Blazers, who have lost four straight after getting off to a surprising 4-2 start.

In his first game against the Trail Blazers since being traded to Boston in the offseason, Sebastian Telfair had 15 points and seven assists. Telfair scored 13 points in the first half as Boston jumped out to a 50-43 lead.

After shooting just 2-of-9 in the first half, Randolph scored Portland’s first five points of the second half to help the Trail Blazers pull within 52-51. But Szczerbiak scored seven points during an 8-0 run to help the Celtics extend their lead to 60-51.

The Trail Blazers then clawed back to 62-58 with 4:36 remaining in the third, but Pierce extended Boston’s lead with a 3-pointer on the other end.

Boston outscored Portland 41-25 in the fourth quarter.

Knicks 100, Heat 76

MIAMI – The Miami Heat lost at home for the third game in a row Friday night, and they’ll have to shake their slump without Shaquille O’Neal.

Reserve Jamal Crawford scored 19 points, and the New York Knicks took advantage of O’Neal’s absence to beat the defending NBA champions 100-76.

The Heat announced shortly before tipoff that O’Neal, sidelined since Sunday, will undergo surgery for torn knee cartilage and be out four to six weeks.

It’s a familiar pattern for the Heat: Last season, O’Neal sprained his ankle in the home opener and missed the next 18 games.

Cavaliers 92, ‘Wolves 76

CLEVELAND – LeBron James scored 37 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas matched a season high with 14, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to their fifth straight win, 92-76 over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.

James added nine rebounds and six assists for the Cavs, playing their first game without guard Larry Hughes. He sprained his right ankle on Wednesday against Portland and could miss several games.

It’s a significant loss, but the Cavaliers are used to not having Hughes around. He missed 46 games with a broken finger last season, but Cleveland managed to go 27-19 while Hughes was sidelined.

Kevin Garnett scored a season-low 14 on 5-of-17 shooting and rookie Craig Smith 12 for the Timberwolves, who scored only 31 points in the second half and lost for the fifth time in six games.

Spurs 100, Bulls 83

SAN ANTONIO – Tim Duncan had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 100-83 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Friday night.

Brent Barry added 14 points for the Spurs and Tony Parker had 13 points and eight assists. Reserve Beno Udrih had nine assists. The Spurs (7-2) have won six of their last seven, while the Bulls (3-6) have dropped four of five.

That includes a three-game losing streak in Texas.

The Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets combined with San Antonio to give the Bulls three losses in the past four nights.

Mavs 115, Grizzlies 103

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Dirk Nowitzki scored 26 points, Erick Dampier added 22 points and 15 rebounds, and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Memphis Grizzlies 115-103 Friday night for their fourth straight victory.

Dampier’s bulk was too much for the smaller Memphis frontline.

He was 8-of-11 from the field, many of them on dunks or second-chance points, sending the Grizzlies to their sixth straight loss. The win puts the Mavericks at .500 for the first time this season. Nowitzki shot only 3-of-13 from the field in the first three quarters. Jerry Stackhouse had 19 points for Dallas.

Hakim Warrick led Memphis with a career-high 26 points, while Stromile Swift added 21 and Mike Miller finished with 16.

Pistons 100, Wizards 91

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Richard Hamilton scored 27 points and Rasheed Wallace added 20 points and 10 rebounds as the Detroit Pistons ended a two-game losing streak with a 100-91 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday night. Hamilton hit 11 of a career high-tying 27 shots to help Detroit to improve to 4-5 in its first season without Ben Wallace. Last season, the Pistons started 35-5 and went on to lose to Miami in the Eastern Conference finals. Tayshaun Prince added 20 points for Detroit, which trailed by nine points in the first half before dominating the last two periods.

Nets 100, Pacers 91

INDIANAPOLIS – Vince Carter scored 28 points and Clifford Robinson, the oldest player in the NBA, added a season-high 14 Friday night to lead the New Jersey Nets over the Indiana Pacers 100-91.

Indiana’s Jermaine O’Neal, in foul trouble and scoreless in the first half, had 13 points in the third quarter as the Pacers came from 14 points down and took a 75-71 lead early in the final period.

Two free throws by rookie Marcus Williams and a 3-pointer by Robinson put the Nets back in the lead. After two more ties, Bostjan Nachbar got a dunk off an assist by Jason Kidd.

was fouled by O’Neal and hit the free throw for an 82-79 lead.


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