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Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009

Celtics edge Knicks on Garnett basket

NEW YORK (AP) Paul Pierce carried the Celtics all game while the rest of the Big Three struggled.

News photo
Block party: Celtics forward Paul Pierce blocks the shot of Knicks guard Danilo Gallinari during the second quarter of their game on Sunday in New York. Boston won 107-105 in overtime. AP PHOTO

So when it came time for the winning shot, of course Pierce would take it.

That's what the New York Knicks seemed to think, anyway.

Instead, Pierce swung it to a wide-open Kevin Garnett, whose jumper beat the overtime buzzer to give Boston a 107-105 victory Sunday.

"I knew they were going to sort of follow Paul and he's going to draw a lot of attention," Garnett said, "and I just had to make the shot."

Garnett hadn't made many, going 4-of-15 in what he said was an average to below-average performance. Yet Pierce suggested the final play to coach Doc Rivers and it worked perfectly.

"He's that type of player," Pierce said. "You're talking about a Hall of Fame player. He's missed millions of shots. He's going to keep playing, going to keep taking shots when he gets an opportunity. He really stepped up big for our team when we needed it."

Pierce scored a season-high 33 points, and had all of Boston's points in overtime until the final play. Two Knicks followed him, leaving Garnett alone at the top of the key for his 19-footer.

"I am expecting Pierce to try and make a move and pull up," said David Lee, one of the defenders who followed Pierce. "Good play by them and it's just unfortunate to lose a game like this."

Garnett and Ray Allen had miserable shooting performances, but Rajon Rondo finished with 14 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds as Boston won for the second time in five games.

Reserve Al Harrington scored 30 points and Lee had 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Knicks, who had won their previous two games. They apparently were supposed to use their foul to give on the final play, a disappointing end to an otherwise strong performance.

"We wanted to give the foul if Paul Pierce was going to the hole but that never happened," Harrington said. "It's frustrating, but we played extremely hard."

Heat 102, Hornets 101

In Miami, Dwyane Wade had 31 points, and Udonis Haslem hit a jumper with 15.4 seconds left to lift the Heat.

Bobcats 104, Pacers 88

In Charlotte, Nazr Mohammed scored 18 points, Boris Diaw added 17 and the Bobcats snapped a seven-game losing streak.

Magic 104, Raptors 96

In Toronto, Vince Carter scored 24 points, Dwight Howard had 17 points and 12 rebounds and the Magic won their fifth straight.

Suns 117, Pistons 91

In Phoenix, Amare Stoudemire scored 21 points and Steve Nash added 20, then sat out the fourth quarter to watch the Suns hand the road-weary Pistons their fifth straight loss.

Lakers 101, Thunder 85

In Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant scored 26 points, including an astonishing basket from behind the backboard, and the Lakers beat the Oklahoma City franchise for the 11th straight time.



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