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Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009

Allen scores 20,000th as Celtics rumble on

WASHINGTON (AP) The Boston Celtics won their ninth straight game and their 10th in 11 road games. They had a player score his 20,000th point, another his 19,000th and held their opponents without a rebound for an entire quarter.

News photo
Fadeaway: Denver's Carmelo Anthony puts up an off-balance shot over Detroit's Ben Wallace on Thursday night. The Pistons beat the Nuggets 101-99. AP PHOTO

Even with all those superlatives, the Celtics didn't secure their 104-102 win over the Washington Wizards until the final moments Thursday night.

It took Rajon Rondo's driving dunk with a minute remaining to break a tie. Boston (18-4) began the night tied with Orlando for the best record in the Eastern Conference.

"We believe we can win games in any situation, and that's a good sign," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said.

Rondo had a season-high 21 points and 11 assists, and Ray Allen had 18 and became the 32nd NBA player to score 20,000 points.

Kevin Garnett had 17 points, and Kendrick Perkins added 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Primarily a passer, Rondo changed his game for one night.

"Tonight it was me being aggressive. I still wanted to pass first, but tonight I had to take the shot," Rondo said.

"Clearly their game plan was they weren't going to guard him," Rivers said. "They were going to give him shots, and he took them."

Gilbert Arenas led Washington with 25 points, but missed a pair of free throws with 26.7 seconds to play. Arenas missed five of his six free throws.

Allen became the 32nd NBA player to score 20,000 points in his career, hitting a a 3-pointer with 4:44 remaining in the third quarter. Allen came into the game needing 14 points for 20,000, and it was on his mind.

"All day today, it was like, 'Don't get hit by a car. Get out here, don't get hurt, take care of your body,' " Allen said.

Pistons 101, Nuggets 99

In Auburn Hills, Mich., Charlie Villanueva scored 27 points and Rodney Stuckey had 26 to help banged-up Detroit beat Denver and former teammate Chauncey Billups.

Carmelo Anthony scored 40 points for the Nuggets, while Billups had 21.

Jazz 120, Magic 111

In Salt Lake City, Deron Williams scored 21 of his 32 points in the second half and had 15 assists and eight rebounds, leading Utah over Orlando.

Threats alleged

NEW YORK (AP) The lead negotiator and spokesman for the NBA's referees says Tim Donaghy made threats against him, and that the disgraced former official's accusations about his colleagues shouldn't be believed because he is a "compulsive liar."

Lamell McMorris said Thursday that Donaghy also threatened fellow referees, whom he has accused of misconduct during a series of interviews this week.

"His attacks have been malicious and his claims continue to be unfounded," McMorris said in a statement. "Donaghy is a convicted felon and a compulsive liar with loyalty to no one but himself."

McMorris declined to give specifics of the threats, but indicated they came when Donaghy called his office after McMorris put out statements on behalf of the referees after the Donaghy betting scandal broke in 2007.

McMorris also cited Donaghy's "pattern of intimidation" and issues with his temper, including a dispute with his neighbors while living in Philadelphia that the NBA investigated.

His statement said Donaghy's life "has been marked by a pattern of dishonesty," noting that he was forced to return to prison after he was accused of violating terms of his probation.

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