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Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011

Rockets stop Celts on road

BOSTON (AP) Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers watched his team lose to the undermanned Houston Rockets and saw trouble coming from far down the road.

News photo
Tomahawk: Rudy Gay of the Grizzlies moves in for a dunk over Charlotte's Tyrus Thomas on Monday night. AP PHOTO

Playing without leading scorer Kevin Martin, the Rockets beat Boston 108-102 on Monday night to snap a five-game losing streak. Afterward, Rivers lamented his players' lack of effort and warned them to take these regular-season games more seriously or risk having a long summer to think about them.

"I've got to somehow figure out a way of getting them to see the urgency of the whole season, and not the single game," Rivers told reporters.

"Playing Game 7 on the road . . . and not just in the Finals, if you make it there, but in the playoffs, in the East, which is going to be difficult."

With the loss, Boston (28-9) fell behind the Miami Heat (30-9) for the best record in the Eastern Conference and the potential home-court advantage in the playoffs.

With LeBron James and Chris Bosh joining Dwayne Wade in Miami, this season the Celtics can count on more of a struggle within the conference.

"This year's not like last year, where you can coast," Rivers said. "If you don't have home court this year, you could go home."

Aaron Brooks returned from an ankle injury to score 24 points for Houston, hitting a pair of free throws with 18 seconds left after Boston cut a 12-point deficit to four.

Kyle Lowry had 17 points and eight assists for the Rockets.

Ray Allen scored 19 for Boston, Marquis Daniels had season highs of 19 points and seven rebounds and Rajon Rondo had 12 assists.

Bobcats 96, Grizzlies 82

In Charlotte, Stephen Jackson scored 27 points and the Bobcats stayed hot under new coach Paul Silas with a victory over listless Memphis.

A crowd of about 1,000 fans braved a snowstorm that shut down much of the city to watch Charlotte move to 5-2 since former coach Larry Brown was fired.

Bulls 95, Pistons 82

In Chicago, Derrick Rose scored 29 points and Carlos Boozer added 27 points and 11 rebounds to rally the Bulls past Detroit.

Luol Deng added 17 points and eight rebounds for Chicago, which has won seven straight home games.

Tayshaun Prince scored 15 points and Austin Daye added 14 for the struggling Pistons.

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