BOSTON — Paul Pierce missed his first 10 shots and then scored 16 points in the fourth quarter, including seven straight to put the Boston Celtics ahead for good in a 103-94 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night.
Pierce finished with 21 points, going 12 for 13 from the free throw line to make up for his slow start from the floor. Kendrick Perkins scored 19 points to go with eight rebounds, and Rasheed Wallace filled in for ailing Kevin Garnett with nine points and 13 rebounds.
Troy Murphy had 24 points and a season-high 18 rebounds for Indiana, which lost its fourth straight. Earl Watson scored all 18 of his points in the first half to help the Pacers open a 15-point halftime lead.
The Celtics trailed 66-54 before scoring 13 straight points — nine by Ray Allen — to take their first lead on his 3-pointer with 4:45 left in the third quarter.
WASHINGTON — Brilliant at the beginning and end, and basically silent in between, Gilbert Arenas scored 31 points to lead Washington over Philadelphia, ending a three-game home losing streak.
NEW YORK — David Lee rattled in the clinching jumper with 5.5 seconds left, finishing with 18 points and a career high-tying 21 rebounds as New York held on to beat Chicago.
One night after blowing a 35-point third-quarter lead in a home loss to Sacramento, the Bulls nearly battled back from a huge deficit in this one. But New York prevailed for its third straight victory and seventh in nine games.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Gerald Wallace had 29 points and 12 rebounds in his return after missing a game with severe headaches, leading Charlotte over the undermanned Detroit Pistons to snap a three-game skid.
MINNEAPOLIS — Jamal Crawford scored 26 points and Joe Johnson added 21 points and six assists to lead Atlanta past Minnesota.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Zach Randolph scored a season-high 33 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, and Memphis withstood Golden State’s strong start to beat the slumping Warriors.