BOSTON (AP) – Paul Pierce scored a season-high 32 points and Kevin Garnett had an easy 15 with seven rebounds on Friday night as the Boston Celtics overcame Ray Allen’s absence to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 104-82 and match the franchise record with a 12-0 start at home.

With Allen sitting out a game or two to rest a sore ankle, Tony Allen started and scored 11 with four steals while holding Michael Redd to seven points. Rajon Rondo scored 17 – one off his season high – with eight assists for Boston, which also won its first 12 home games in 1984 en route to the ’85 NBA finals.

Garnett played just 29 minutes for the Celtics, who pulled away when they outscored Milwaukee 32-15 in the third quarter. Boston will try to set the team record Wednesday against Detroit.

Mo Williams scored 14 for the Bucks, Bobby Simmons had 11 and Yi Jianlian scored 10.

The Celtics turned a five-point deficit with 3:22 left in the second quarter into a 46-44 halftime lead. But it was in the third when they really pulled away.

They scored 12 consecutive points early in the third to turn a 49-48 Bucks lead into a 60-49 advantage, then added a 10-0 run near the end of the quarter to make it 78-57.

For the second straight game – but just the second time this season – the Celtics were without their regular starting five. Allen is expected to miss a game or two with a sore right ankle he has been trying to play through for eight games.

Kendrick Perkins sat out Wednesday’s game against Toronto after part of his bed fell on his big toe.

Nets 105, Cavaliers 97

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Vince Carter matched a season high with 32 points, Richard Jefferson had 24, and the New Jersey Nets snapped a four-game losing streak with a 105-97 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.

Reserve Josh Boone added a season-high 15, even though he was 2-for-4 from the line when the Cavs intentionally fouled him on consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter. Boone, who threw up an airball from the line earlier, was 3-of-8 there overall.

Jason Kidd finished with eight points, 11 assists and eight rebounds as the Nets overcame their usual slow start at home to win for only the second time in seven games – both against Cleveland.

LeBron James had 29 points, eight assists and six rebounds for Cleveland, which has lost seven of eight. Five of those losses came when its superstar was out with a sprained left index finger. Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 21 points and 12 rebounds.

Clippers 98, Grizzlies 91

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Chris Kaman and Corey Maggette both scored 23 points and Kaman grabbed 16 rebounds, as the Los Angeles Clippers used a 10-2 fourth-quarter run to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 98-91 on Friday night.

Cuttino Mobley scored 17 points and handed out six assists for the Clippers, who sent Memphis to its sixth straight loss.

The Grizzlies were stymied by a stretch of more than 10 minutes in the second half where they did not connect on a field goal and managed only nine free throws. Memphis committed 25 turnovers.

But the Grizzlies were still within 72-70 in the early stages of the fourth quarter, when Los Angeles went on the 10-2 run, and Memphis never got closer than five points in the closing minutes.

Kings 109, 76ers 99

PHILADELPHIA – Brad Miller had 25 points and 10 rebounds, Mikki Moore tied his career-high with 24 points and the Sacramento Kings became the final NBA team to win a road game with a 109-99 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.

John Salmons contributed 19 points and Beno Udrih had 15 for the Kings, who entered the game with nine straight road losses to open a season, matching a team record set in 1987-88 and again in 1993-94.

The Kings also broke the streak without injured starters Mike Bibby, Kevin Martin and Shareef Abdur-Rahim.

Andre Miller scored 24 points, Willie Green added 16 and Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams had 15 apiece for Philadelphia, which had its season-best four-game win streak snapped. Kyle Korver added 13 for the Sixers.

Magic 103, Bobcats 87

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Dwight Howard had 33 points and 18 rebounds and the Orlando Magic wore down the undermanned Charlotte Bobcats 103-87 on Friday night to snap a three-game losing streak.

Hitting the court an hour after a trade that sent starting center Primoz Brezec and forward Walter Herrmann to Detroit for center Nazr Mohammed, the Bobcats were no match for Howard inside.

Howard, who recorded his league-leading 20th double-double, would have had an even bigger night if not for 11-of-20 shooting from the free throw line.

Raptors 104, Pacers 93

INDIANAPOLIS – Jason Kapono scored 17 of his career-high 29 points in the fourth quarter to help the Toronto Raptors beat the Indiana Pacers 104-93 Friday night for their fourth straight win.

Chris Bosh had 22 points and 16 rebounds, and Jose Calderon had a career-high 16 assists and 18 points for the Raptors (14-10), who overcame a 17-point third-quarter deficit.

Mike Dunleavy scored 23 points and Jamaal Tinsley added 19 points and 10 assists for the Pacers (11-12).

The Raptors took their first lead of the game, 81-80, on Kapono’s 3-pointer with nine minutes left.

Sonics 99, Wolves 88

MINNEAPOLIS – Chris Wilcox had 19 points and 11 rebounds to help the Seattle SuperSonics overcome a sluggish start and beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 99-88 Friday night.

Kurt Thomas added 18 for Seattle, which won its second straight on the road, and fourth game in six starts overall.

Al Jefferson had 22 points and 16 rebounds for Minnesota. Rashad McCants had 17.

The Timberwolves (3-18) have lost eight of nine, and tied the 1991-92 team for the worst 21-game start in franchise history. That team finished 15-67.

The game was a matchup of teams with the two worst records in the Western Conference entering the night, and both took opportunities to showcase their struggles.

Detroit 91, Atlanta 81

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Chauncey Billups scored 23 points and Tayshaun Prince added 17 points and 10 rebounds, helping the Detroit Pistons beat the Atlanta Hawks 91-81 Friday night.

Detroit has won eight of its last 10 games, while the Hawks lost their second straight after a three-game winning streak.

Joe Johnson scored 23 and Marvin Williams added 15 for the Hawks, who only dressed 11 players. Josh Childress missed the game with a recurring groin injury and rookie Al Horford was suspended for Tuesday’s flagrant foul on Toronto guard T.J. Ford.

Richard Hamilton added 18 points for Detroit, while Antonio McDyess and Jason Maxiell combined for 15 points and 22 rebounds.

Atlanta stayed close for a quarter, but Detroit pulled out by as many as 17 in the second period before settling for a 47-33 halftime lead.

Mavericks 89, Hornets 80

DALLAS – Jason Terry scored 25 points and reserve Jerry Stackhouse added 16 to lead the Dallas Mavericks past the New Orleans Hornets 89-80 Friday night.

Josh Howard added 15 points for Dallas, but reigning league MVP Dirk Nowitzki continued to struggle.

He had only seven points on 2-of-8 shooting, and is 8-of-23 from the floor over the last two games.

New Orleans had taken its first lead midway through the third before Terry scored eight points in a 10-5 spurt that gave Dallas a 61-57 advantage heading into the final quarter.

The Mavericks opened the fourth by scoring the first six points to stretch the lead to 10. New Orleans got within 83-78 in the final minute before Dallas put it away by hitting six straight free throws in the final 30 seconds.

Dallas coach Avery Johnson had been critical of his team’s defense in recent days, but he watched his squad hold New Orleans to 36 percent shooting.

After giving up an average of 112 points in three games last week, the Mavericks had their best defensive performance since holding Portland to 80 on Nov. 30.


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