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Celtics get by minus Garnett

BOSTON — The Celtics finally found a way to beat the team with the league's worst record.

Actually, it was several ways as the Celtics avenged an embarrassing loss at Charlotte by routing the Bobcats 105-88 on Saturday night.

Paul Pierce had 14 points, eight assists and six rebounds before sitting out the fourth quarter, cheering his teammates as they beat the Bobcats for the first time in three tries this season.

"It wasn't a sense that we owed them one. It was a sense that we need to play better against them and we need to keep playing well at home," said Pierce, who also had three blocks. "It's about us playing well and playing the right way."

All five Boston starters scored in double figures, and all 11 players who dressed for Boston had at least five points.

All that happened without Kevin Garnett, who sat out to rest a strained muscle in his left thigh.

Even without Garnett, the Celtics played nothing like the team that had been humbled by Charlotte twice this season. Two of the Bobcats' NBA-low 14 wins have come against the Celtics, including a 100-74 blowout Tuesday in Charlotte. Pierce rested that game, and the team captain was quite critical of how the Celtics played.

"They whooped us back at their place, so we wanted to come out, be aggressive and send the message," said Jeff Green, who started for Garnett and finished with 10 points.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said before the game that Garnett, a 17-year veteran, didn't look good in practice Friday, so the team sat him. When asked if he expected it to be longer, Rivers said, "No, I don't think so."

Game highlights: Tim Duncan had 30 points and 12 rebounds, and Kawhi Leonard added 24 points and 13 rebounds as the host Spurs beat the Cavaliers 119-113 to take a 1½-game lead on Oklahoma City for the top spot in the Western Conference. … Spencer Hawes had 18 points and career highs with 16 rebounds and seven blockeds to lead the host 76ers past the Pacers 98-91. Jrue Holiday added 27 points and 12 assists to help the Sixers win for only the third time in 15 games. … Martell Webster scored a career-high 34 and became Washington's first 30-point scorer this season in a 127-105 victory over the visiting Suns.

Bryant doubtful today: Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who played only 12 minutes Friday against Indiana before leaving with a sore ankle, was doubtful for tonight's game against Sacramento, the Los Angeles Times reported. After hobbling around on a severely sprained left ankle for one quarter, Bryant took himself out of Friday's game and encouraged his teammates from the bench as they won 99-93 on the road against the No. 2 team in the East.

Celtics 105, Bobcats 88

CHARLOTTE (88): Kidd-Gilchrist 3-7 0-0 6, McRoberts 4-9 1-1 9, Biyombo 2-3 1-2 5, Walker 6-13 0-1 14, Henderson 6-12 4-4 16, Gordon 4-11 0-0 8, Pargo 5-12 4-4 18, Mullens 3-5 1-5 8, Adrien 0-2 1-2 1, Taylor 1-2 1-2 3. Totals 34-76 13-21 88.

BOSTON (105): Pierce 4-7 4-5 14, Green 5-9 0-0 10, Bass 5-9 0-0 10, Bradley 4-12 4-4 13, Lee 5-7 0-0 12, Wilcox 2-3 2-2 6, Terry 5-6 2-3 15, Crawford 3-8 0-0 8, White 3-4 0-3 6, T.Williams 2-5 1-2 5, Randolph 3-9 0-1 6. Totals 41-79 13-20 105.

Charlotte 24 19 23 22— 88

Boston 24 26 33 22— 105

3-Point GoalsCharlotte 7-20 (Pargo 4-6, Walker 2-5, Mullens 1-2, McRoberts 0-3, Gordon 0-4), Boston 10-15 (Terry 3-3, Lee 2-2, Pierce 2-3, Crawford 2-4, Bradley 1-2, Green 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsCharlotte 45 (McRoberts 10), Boston 50 (Randolph 8). AssistsCharlotte 23 (Henderson, Pargo, Walker 4), Boston 28 (Pierce 8). Total FoulsCharlotte 17, Boston 21. TechnicalsBoston defensive three second. A18,624 (18,624).

76ers 98, Pacers 91

INDIANA (91): George 6-17 4-6 18, West 8-13 2-3 18, Hibbert 9-26 7-8 25, Hill 5-15 0-0 13, Stephenson 1-6 0-0 2, T.Hansbrough 2-3 4-4 8, Johnson 2-4 0-0 5, Augustin 0-0 0-0 0, Mahinmi 1-4 0-0 2, S.Young 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 34-88 17-21 91.

PHILADELPHIA (98): Turner 5-11 1-2 11, T.Young 5-7 3-4 13, Hawes 7-14 3-4 18, Holiday 12-25 1-1 27, Wilkins 4-11 4-6 12, Moultrie 0-0 0-0 0, Wright 4-6 2-2 13, Allen 2-4 0-0 4, Jenkins 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 39-79 14-19 98.

Indiana 24 25 23 19— 91

Philadelphia 23 25 23 27— 98

3-Point GoalsIndiana 6-16 (Hill 3-6, George 2-7, Johnson 1-1, West 0-1, Stephenson 0-1), Philadelphia 6-13 (Wright 3-5, Holiday 2-3, Hawes 1-1, Turner 0-2, Wilkins 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsIndiana 53 (George 14), Philadelphia 50 (Hawes 16). AssistsIndiana 25 (Hill, George 8), Philadelphia 28 (Holiday 12). Total FoulsIndiana 20, Philadelphia 21. TechnicalsIndiana Coach Vogel. A18,587 (20,328).

Wizards 127, Suns 105

PHOENIX (105): Marc.Morris 0-2 0-0 0, Mark.Morris 5-9 2-2 13, O'Neal 6-11 0-0 12, Dragic 5-14 1-1 12, Johnson 4-10 0-0 8, Haddadi 1-1 0-0 2, Tucker 4-8 2-3 11, Dudley 6-12 3-4 16, Scola 3-5 1-2 7, Marshall 0-2 0-0 0, Beasley 7-12 6-8 21, Garrett 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 42-88 15-20 105.

WASHINGTON (127): Webster 10-18 7-7 34, Nene 5-10 4-4 14, Okafor 7-12 3-5 17, Wall 8-11 1-2 17, Temple 4-10 0-0 11, Booker 4-9 0-0 8, Beal 5-10 0-0 13, Seraphin 3-7 2-2 8, Martin 2-5 0-0 5, Vesely 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 48-93 17-20 127.

Phoenix 29 30 24 22— 105

Washington 27 39 36 25— 127

3-Point GoalsPhoenix 6-21 (Tucker 1-1, Garrett 1-2, Beasley 1-3, Mark.Morris 1-3, Dudley 1-4, Dragic 1-5, Marshall 0-1, Johnson 0-2), Washington 14-21 (Webster 7-10, Beal 3-4, Temple 3-4, Martin 1-3). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsPhoenix 52 (Mark.Morris, Tucker 9), Washington 47 (Okafor 10). AssistsPhoenix 19 (Dragic 11), Washington 30 (Wall 11). Total FoulsPhoenix 15, Washington 18. TechnicalsBeasley, O'Neal, Phoenix defensive three second, Phoenix Bench, Booker. A16,882 (20,308).

Spurs 119, Cavaliers 113

CLEVELAND (113): Gee 4-7 7-8 15, Thompson 3-12 2-7 8, Zeller 3-4 0-0 6, Livingston 8-13 0-0 16, Waiters 6-12 2-4 15, Walton 1-2 0-0 3, Ellington 8-13 1-1 21, Miles 2-7 3-4 8, Speights 7-13 5-6 19, Gibson 1-2 0-1 2. Totals 43-85 20-31 113.

SAN ANTONIO (119): Leonard 8-16 7-8 24, Duncan 13-19 4-4 30, Splitter 3-3 4-5 10, Joseph 3-4 1-2 7, Green 3-5 2-2 8, Neal 0-0 0-0 0, Ginobili 4-9 5-8 14, Diaw 4-7 0-0 8, Jackson 2-7 0-0 5, De Colo 4-6 0-0 11, Blair 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 45-78 23-29 119.

Cleveland 30 31 29 23— 113

San Antonio 34 32 25 28— 119

3-Point GoalsCleveland 7-15 (Ellington 4-7, Waiters 1-1, Walton 1-2, Miles 1-4, Thompson 0-1), San Antonio 6-17 (De Colo 3-4, Leonard 1-2, Ginobili 1-4, Jackson 1-5, Green 0-1, Diaw 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsCleveland 39 (Thompson 8), San Antonio 53 (Leonard 13). AssistsCleveland 22 (Walton 7), San Antonio 32 (Ginobili 10). Total FoulsCleveland 27, San Antonio 21. TechnicalsJackson, San Antonio Coach Popovich 2. Ejected— San Antonio Coach Popovich. A18,581 (18,797).

Celtics get by minus Garnett 03/16/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 16, 2013 11:59pm]
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