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Friday, Jan. 7, 2011

Rondo triple-double guides Celtics to win

BOSTON (AP) Rajon Rondo had already played two games since returning from a sprained ankle. It wasn't until Wednesday night, though, that he really returned.

The Celtics point guard had 22 assists, 12 points and 10 rebounds for his 11th career triple-double, adding six steals to help Boston beat the San Antonio Spurs 105-103 in a matchup of the NBA's top two teams.

"I felt a lot better in the past couple of games," said Rondo, who also played 43 1/2 minutes just three games after missing two weeks with an injury. "I'm in a little better rhythm, and I'm able to push off a little bit more on my ankle."

Ray Allen scored 31 points and Glen "Big Baby" Davis had 23 — one short of a career high — playing in place of the injured Kevin Garnett. Manu Ginobili scored 24 points with eight rebounds for the Spurs (29-6), who still have the best record in the NBA despite losing back-to-back games for the first time all season.

"We're not satisfied with where we are, and honestly I don't really care what our record is," San Antonio forward Tim Duncan said. "(With) the kind of defense we're playing, we're definitely not satisfied with where we are right now."

Allen made 13 of 16 shots to help the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics (27-7) shoot 61 percent from the floor as a team. But he also missed a pair of free throws with 8.1 seconds left and the Celtics up by two.

After a timeout, Ginobili worked down the clock and put up a shot that Pierce blocked and Rondo pulled down for his 10th rebound.

Rondo's 22 assists were the second-most in his career; he had 24 in an Oct. 29 game against the New York Knicks that was his only other triple-double this season. His six steals were a season-high and one off his career-high, and he scored eight points in the fourth quarter when the Spurs began playing him to pass.

"He did it all," Pierce said. "Rebounded. Assisted. Doc's kind of been on him about taking that shot there. And he steps up when he needs to and knocks down those shots confidently."

Hawks 110, Jazz 87

In Salt Lake City, Joe Johnson scored 28 points, making five of seven 3-pointers, to lift Atlanta to victory over Utah.

Magic 97, Bucks 87

In Orlando, the Magic held off the injury-depleted Bucks for their seventh straight win.

Trail Blazers 103, Rockets 100

In Houston, Portland overcame Kevin Martin's season-high 45 points for a victory.

Warriors 110, Hornets 103

In New Orleans, Monta Ellis scored 29 points as Golden State rallied past the Hornets.

Nets 96, Bulls 94

In Newark, N.J., Sasha Vujacic made the tiebreaking basket with 5.3 seconds left and the Nets snapped a five-game losing streak by beating Chicago.

76ers 109, Wizards 97

In Philadelphia, the hosts returned from their longest road trip of the season to beat Washington.

Bobcats 108, T-Wolves 105 (OT)

In Minneapolis, Charlotte rallied from eight points down in the final 3 minutes to pull out an overtime victory.

Raptors 120, Cavaliers 105

In Cleveland, Toronto ended a succession of 11 straight losses in Cleveland.

Lakers 99, Suns 95

In Phoenix, Kobe Bryant scored 24 points and four other Lakers reached double figures.

Clippers 106, Nuggets 93

In Los Angeles, the home team snapped Denver's four-game winning streak.

Eric Gordon scored 28 points, including four 3-pointers and Blake Griffin had 22 points and 18 rebounds to tie a franchise record with his 22nd consecutive double-double.



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