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Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012

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Up for grabs: Houston's Goran Dragic (left) and Golden State's Nate Robinson chase a loose ball during the Warriors' 106-97 win on Sunday. AP

High-energy Rondo guides Celtics to win


BOSTON — Paul Pierce has been around long enough to know what Rajon Rondo's performance can mean for the aging Boston Celtics.

"The way he played tonight, we're a pretty tough team to stop," the Celtics captain said Sunday after Rondo recorded a triple-double with 32 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds in a 95-91 victory over the Chicago Bulls, who were without star guard Derrick Rose.

Running the Celtics' offense smoothly without having to worry about covering the reigning MVP Rose, Rondo helped Boston rebound from a miserable loss in Toronto on Friday.

"I just think he wanted to win," Boston coach Doc Rivers said when asked if Rondo may have been extra motivated. "I thought we played at a better pace today."

Kevin Garnett added 13 points and 12 rebounds, reserve JaJuan Johnson had 12 points and Ray Allen 11 for the Celtics, who snapped a two-game skid. Rondo had season highs in both points and assists.

The win came after what Rivers called an "awful" showing in an 86-74 loss at Toronto. Rivers was very frustrated after that game and spoke about how it was "un-Celtic."

"I knew they'd come out like that, coming off their last two games," Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau said. "They were very aggressive. I thought they got some very easy baskets early, which gave them confidence."

C.J. Watson, who started in Rose's spot, scored 22 points for the Bulls, whose win streak ended at five in the finale of a 6-3 road trip. Carlos Boozer also scored 22 and pulled down seven rebounds, while Joakim Noah had 16 points and nine boards.

"We got out-competed," Noah said.

Lakers 94, Raptors 92

In Toronto, Kobe Bryant hit a baseline jumper with 4.2 seconds left and Los Angeles wrapped up a six-game road trip by holding on to beat the Raptors for their eighth victory in nine meetings with the hosts.

Bryant, who scored 27 points, took an inbound pass from Metta World Peace and shot over the outstretched arms of James Johnson to deny the Raptors, who battled back after trailing by as many as 18.

Down 93-92, Toronto blew its best chance for a winning shot when Rasual Butler couldn't inbound the ball and failed to call a timeout before 5 seconds had elapsed. Bryant made one of two from the line to put the Lakers up by two with 3.7 seconds left. Jose Calderon, who scored a career-high 30 points, inbounded to DeMar DeRozan for the final possession, but he airballed his potential tying shot at the buzzer.

Wizards 98, Pistons 77

In Auburn Hills, Michigan, JaVale McGee had 22 points and eight rebounds, and John Wall dished out 14 assists as Washington routed Detroit.

Heat 107, Hawks 87

In Atlanta, LeBron James scored 23 points, Dwyane Wade added 21 and Miami blew out the Hawks after racing to a 22-point lead at halftime.

By halftime, Wade already had 21 points.

Warriors 106, Rockets 97

In Oakland, Monta Ellis had 33 points and seven assists, David Lee added 15 points and 13 rebounds and Golden State beat Houston for its second straight victory over a Western Conference playoff contender.

Rookie reserve Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry had 14 points apiece and each made some big shots late to help the Warriors upset another top team. Golden State also won at Denver on Thursday night.

Jazz 98, Grizzlies 88

In Memphis, Al Jefferson had 21 points and a season-high 15 rebounds, and Gordon Hayward added 23 points as Utah snapped a three-game losing streak.

Lakers watch Arenas


LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Lakers officials have attended a private workout for Gilbert Arenas in Southern California, according to a Yahoo Sports report.

The report Sunday, citing anonymous sources, said the Lakers are considering the free-agent guard to boost their struggling offense.

The 30-year-old Arenas was let go by the Orlando Magic in the preseason under the league's amnesty provision. After he was traded to Orlando a year ago, Arenas made little impact in 49 games, averaging eight points. He played sparingly over the previous three seasons because of injuries and a 50-game NBA suspension for bringing a gun into the locker room.

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