Clippers 96, Celtics 88
Jamal Crawford hit a pair of 3-pointers 23 seconds apart to help the Los Angeles Clippers pull away in the last 3 minutes and former Celtics coach Doc Rivers won his first game back in Boston on Wednesday night.
Crawford came off the bench to score 21 points and Chris Paul had 22 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Blake Griffin scored 18 points for the Clippers, who won for the seventh time in 10 games.
Jeff Green scored 29 points against his former coach, who was traded to Los Angeles last summer for a first-round draft pick.
Jordan Crawford had 20 points and nine assists, and Brandon Bass had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Celtics, who lost their second in a row.
Boston lost to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night, kicking off a reunion week of sorts by facing former Celtics Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. One night later, Rivers returned to the TD Garden, where the banner for the franchise’s unprecedented 17th NBA title hangs from the rafters.
Rivers got a standing ovation when he walked onto the court for warm-ups, another healthy cheer when he was introduced and a bigger one after a video on the scoreboard ended with, “Thank you, Doc!”
“I’m an emotional guy,” Rivers said beforehand. “I just hope I can coach tonight.”
Rivers did just fine, getting 34 points from his bench to just four for Boston’s. The Celtics led by as many as nine points in the first half, but the Clippers erased it in a back-and-forth third quarter in which the lead changed hands five times.
Los Angeles led 73-71 midway through the fourth quarter when Darren Collison scored six points in a row. The Clippers had an 85-83 lead with under 3 minutes when Crawford made back-to-back 3 pointers. Boston cut it to five, but never got closer.
The Celtics opened a nine-point lead late in the half, but took a 45-39 lead into the break. The teams traded leads in the third quarter, which ended with the Clippers ahead 66-64.
Magic 92, Bobcats 83
Jameer Nelson had 12 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and the visiting Orlando Magic snapped a six-game losing streak by beating the Charlotte Bobcats.
Glen Davis added 17 points and 12 rebounds and Nikola Vucevic chipped in with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Arron Afflalo had 16 points.
Nelson came up with a big 3-pointer late for the Magic, and also had seven rebounds and six assists while outplaying fellow point guard Kemba Walker.
The Bobcats shot 37 percent from the field to see their two-game win streak come to an end.
Al Jefferson led Charlotte with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Spurs 109, Bucks 77
Tim Duncan had 21 points and 16 rebounds while playing just 24 minutes and Tony Parker added 15 points in the San Antonio Spurs’ rout of the host Milwaukee Bucks. San Antonio had lost three of its last six games after starting the season 13-1, but dominated from the opening tip, scoring the first nine points. An 8-0 run extended the Spurs lead to 27-10.
The Bucks (5-17) trailed 32-16 after one quarter. The Spurs held a 17-4 rebounding advantage in the first period.
The Bucks pulled within 41-30 in the second quarter, but the Spurs responded with a 10-0 run. The Spurs, led 63-40 at the half and extended it to 92-54 entering the final period.
Timberwolves 106, Sixers 99
Kevin Love had 26 points, 15 rebounds and five assists and the host Minnesota Timberwolves rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat the slumping Philadelphia 76ers. Ricky Rubio had 21 points, seven assists and five rebounds, Nikola Pekovic added 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Robbie Hummel hit a couple of big shots for the Wolves in the fourth quarter to key the comeback.
Thunder 116, Grizzlies 100
Russell Westbrook scored 27 points and Kevin Durant added 18 to lead the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder. Reserve guard Jeremy Lamb added a career-high 18 points to help the Thunder to their fourth win in a row and 12th in 13 games. Neither Westbrook nor Durant played in the fourth quarter as the Thunder maintained double-digit leads throughout the final period.
Knicks 83, Bulls 78
Carmelo Anthony had 30 points and 10 rebounds, and the host New York Knicks pulled out a victory after blowing a 23-point lead. Amare Stoudemire made the tiebreaking jumper with 2:35 left and finished with 14 points and nine rebounds for the Knicks, who ended a two-game losing streak but made it harder on themselves than necessary with some sloppy second-half offense. Mike Dunleavy Jr. scored 20 points for the Bulls.
Pelicans 111, Pistons 106
Ryan Anderson shook off an unusually poor shooting night from long range, hitting two clutch 3-pointers in overtime that carried the host New Orleans Pelicans. Jason Smith scored 22 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds for the Pelicans.