Rajon Rondo scored 12 of his career-high 25 points in the final 5:20, and Kevin Garnett had 19 points and 10 rebounds last night to lead the host Boston Celtics to their 15th consecutive victory, 100-91, over the Utah Jazz.
Kendrick Perkins added 15 points and 14 rebounds for Boston (23-2), which avenged the worst loss of its championship season, 110-92, to Utah last March. Paul Pierce scored 15 points before he hurt his left knee during a scramble with 31 seconds left.
"It should be all right," Pierce said. "I put a little weight on it. It didn't go back that far, so it should be all right."
Paul Millsap scored a career-high 32 points with 10 rebounds for Utah (15-11).
Michael Phelps attended the game along with Jared from the Subway commercials.
Nuggets 98, Mavericks 88: : Reserve J.R. Smith scored 25 points, Carmelo Anthony (Towson Catholic) added 23, and visiting Denver (17-7) extended its winning streak to four games. Dirk Nowitzki had 27 points and 10 rebounds for the Mavericks (13-10), who had won 11 of their previous 13.
Suns 111, Knicks 103: : Steve Nash scored 21 points, including a game-clinching three-pointer with 28 seconds to play, as host Phoenix (15-10) topped 110 points for the fourth game in a row. New York (11-13) was just 5-for-37 on three-pointers.
Hawks 83, Bobcats 79: : Joe Johnson scored 18 of his 28 points in the second half to extend visiting Charlotte's losing streak to seven. Al Horford added 12 points and 14 rebounds for Atlanta (15-9), which won its third straight. Boris Diaw led Charlotte (7-18) with 25 points.
Nets 94, Raptors 87: : Vince Carter had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Ryan Anderson added 21 points, and visiting New Jersey (12-11) ended a three-game losing streak. Chris Bosh and Jason Kapono each scored 17 for Toronto (10-14), which has lost seven of nine.
Bucks 98, Heat 83: : Michael Redd scored 16 of his 21 points in the first quarter, and Milwaukee (11-15) won on the road for the first time since beating Charlotte on Nov. 22. The Heat (12-12) lost its third straight game.
Off the court
Kings: : Reggie Theus was fired as coach yesterday after a 6-18 start to his second season with the club.
Assistant coach Kenny Natt took over the Kings at their shoot-around before last night's game against Minnesota, spokesman Troy Hanson said. Natt is Sacramento's fourth coach in less than three years.