POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Dec 16, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 01:36 a.m. HST, Dec 16, 2010
NEW YORK » Paul Pierce made a tie-breaking jumper with 0.4 seconds left, Amare Stoudemire's 3-pointer at the buzzer was ruled too late, and the Boston Celtics pulled out a thrilling 118-116 victory over the New York Knicks last night for their 11th straight win.
The Knicks had their eight-game winning streak snapped when a video replay of Stoudemire's shot showed the ball was clearly still in his hands as time expired.
Pierce scored 32 points for the Celtics, who trailed most of the fourth quarter before running their record to 20-4, best in the Eastern Conference.
Stoudemire had 39 points, extending his franchise-record streak to nine straight 30-point games. But the Knicks were denied the victory over a top team they desperately craved to punctuate their return to relevance.
They get another chance tomorrow, when LeBron James and the Miami Heat come to Madison Square Garden.
"The Knicks have arrived," Pierce said in a postgame television interview. "They're going to be a force to reckon with in the division."
Ray Allen scored 26 points and Kevin Garnett had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Celtics, enjoying their fifth winning streak of 10 games or more since their Big Three came together before the 2007-08 season.
Raymond Felton had 26 points and 14 assists, Danilo Gallinari scored 20 points and Wilson Chandler had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who lost for just the second time in their last 15 games.
Kobe Bryant scored 25 of his 31 points in the second half to help visting Los Angeles beat Indiana.
Pau Gasol scored 28 points and Lamar Odom had 13 points and 17 rebounds for the Lakers, who never trailed.
Darren Collison scored 17 points for Indiana.
LeBron James had few words for his former Cleveland teammates this time.
Dwyane Wade did more than enough talking with his play, scoring 17 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter. James added 21 points and a season-high 13 rebounds, and Miami won its 10th straight game.
Manu Ginobili hit a fallaway jumper as time expired, lifting San Antonio over visiting Milwaukee.
Ginobili scored the last of his 26 points on a 17-footer from the left elbow over the outstretched arm of Luc Mbah a Moute, who missed a shot that would have given Milwaukee the lead seconds earlier.
Caron Butler matched his season high with 23 points, Dirk Nowitzki scored 12 of his 21 in the fourth quarter and Dallas got back on track by beating Portland.
Jason Terry added 13 points for the Mavericks, whose 12-game winning streak was snapped by the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night.
Dallas-area native LaMarcus Aldridge scored 20 of his season-high 35 points in the fourth quarter for Portland.
Channing Frye hit seven of Phoenix's 15 3-pointers, Steve Nash had 19 assists and Phoenix outlasted visting Minnesota.
Jason Richardson scored 24 of his 29 points in the first half, while Grant Hill and Frye had 21 points each.
Kevin Love had 23 points and 16 rebounds for Minnesota.
Carlos Boozer had a season-high 34 points and 12 rebounds, and Chicago won its seventh straight game, beating Toronto.
Luol Deng added 19 points, Joakim Noah had 11 points and 11 rebounds and Derrick Rose dished out 11 assists for the visting Bulls, who never trailed and led by as many as 29.
Chris Paul had 22 points and 11 assists, and New Orleans completed a franchise-record 23-point comeback to beat visiting Sacramento.
Marcus Thornton scored a season-high 19 points, including 13 during a crucial 6-minute span in the third quarter when the Hornets climbed back into the game.
Kevin Durant scored 32 points, Thabo Sefolosha added a season-high 15 points and nine rebounds and Oklahoma City beat visting Houston for its fourth straight win.
Jrue Holiday scored 24 points and Andre Iguodala had eight of his 20 points in Philadelphia's dominating third quarter to lead the surging 76ers over road-weary Los Angeles.
O.J. Mayo scored 24 points, Gay had 23 and Memphis jumped to an early lead and routed visiting Charlotte.
Garnett 8-16 4-4 20, Pierce 10-18 10-10 32, Erden 3-4 0-0 6, Rondo 5-10 0-0 10, Allen 10-19 2-2 26, Davis 4-10 3-3 11, Robinson 3-6 2-2 9, Daniels 2-3 0-0 4, Wafer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 45-86 21-21 118.
Chandler 8-17 0-0 18, Gallinari 8-14 3-6 20, Stoudemire 15-22 9-11 39, Fields 2-5 0-0 6, Felton 8-16 7-7 26, Douglas 1-5 2-2 5, Turiaf 0-1 0-0 0, Williams 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 43-81 21-26 116.