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Monday, Dec. 27, 2010

Retuned Magic halt Boston's streak at 14

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) The remolded Magic are the NBA's new streak-busters.

News photo
Going for the glass: Boston's Ray Allen puts up a shot over Orlando's Brandon Bass in the first half on Saturday. The Magic beat the Celtics 86-78. AP PHOTO

Brandon Bass scored 21 points, Hedo Turkoglu had 15 and the Orlando Magic ended the Boston Celtics' winning streak at 14 games with an 86-78 victory Saturday for back-to-back wins against the NBA's best.

A Magic team that had dropped eight of nine games and orchestrated two blockbuster trades suddenly looks awfully scary in the Eastern Conference after a pair of victories over Boston and San Antonio.

"You see what the possibilities are," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "You see that you have a chance to be a really good team. We're not there yet by any means, but you have a chance to be a very good team."

"That's a great thing for our team to get that belief that, yeah, this can work. We can do this."

Jameer Nelson (12 points) and J.J. Redick (10 points) each made a jumper in the final minutes to help Orlando rally from 12 points down in the second half to cap another big come back. The Magic also ended San Antonio's winning streak at 10 games Thursday night.

Kevin Garnett had 22 points, and Paul Pierce added 18, but injuries finally caught up with the Celtics against the team they beat last season in the East finals. Boston hadn't lost since Nov. 21 at Toronto.

"I just thought we went away from executing offensively and we just didn't get any stops down the stretch," Pierce said.

The Celtics had Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard in foul trouble for the first three quarters. He didn't even score his first field goal until a minute into the fourth quarter, a hook shot over Glen Davis to trim Boston's lead to four.

A few plays later, Howard was wrestling with Shaquille O'Neal for position when he drew a sixth foul on O'Neal by easily falling to the ground. And O'Neal, accused by Van Gundy of flopping in a game two years ago that fueled fodder between the two, wasn't happy with the whistle.

"I just wonder why I've never gotten that call in 20 years," O'Neal said.

Knicks 103, Bulls 95

In New York, Amare Stoudemire and Raymond Felton each scored 20 points, and the Knicks limited Chicago to two baskets in the first 10 minutes of the fourth quarter.

Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari added 15 apiece for the Knicks.

Stoudemire anchored the defensive effort, grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking six shots, and rookie Landry Fields finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Carlos Boozer had 26 points and 19 rebounds for the Bulls.

Thunder 114, Nuggets 106

In Oklahoma City, NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant had a season-high 44 points — 21 in the third quarter — for the Thunder in their first Christmas game.

Durant was 14 of 20 from the field and raised his scoring average to 28.1. James Harden added 21 points, and Russell Westbrook added 19 for Oklahoma City.

Chauncey Billups led the Nuggets with 30 points, and Nene had 21 points and 12 rebounds.

Warriors 109, Blazers 102

In Oakland, Calif. Monta Ellis scored 39 points and Golden State scored 11 straight points to erase a six-point deficit in the fourth quarter in its first Christmas home game.

David Lee added 21 points, and Dorell Wright scored five of his 16 during the decisive spurt to help the Warriors win back-to-back games for the first time since Nov. 8-10.

Wesley Matthews led Portland with 25 points and Nicolas Batum added 18.



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