Despite discovering some troubling news midway through the contest, the Celtics were able to outlast the Miami Heat in Ray Allen's return to Boston. Paul Pierce notched a triple-double and put his team ahead for good with a jumper late in double-overtime, as the Celtics defeated the Heat, 100-98, at TD Garden. Mired in an nine-game shooting slump, Pierce broke out on Sunday with 17 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for Boston, which played without All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo and will do so for an extended period of time. Rondo, who injured his knee in a double-overtime loss to Atlanta on Friday, was scratched just prior to start of the contest and was sent to a local hospital for an MRI, which revealed a torn ACL. A surgery date has not yet been determined. The Celtics, however, were able to end a season-long six-game losing streak in receiving 24 points and 11 rebounds from Kevin Garnett. Jason Terry and Jeff Green added 13 and 11 points, respectively, off the bench in the victory. LeBron James totaled 34 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists for the Heat, who had a four-game winning streak snapped. Chris Bosh followed with 16 points and 16 rebounds, while Dwyane Wade added 17 points and seven assists in defeat. In his first game back in Boston since leaving the Celtics this past summer for Miami, Allen received a mixed reaction from the crowd during a video tribute upon his entrance, but scored 21 points off the bench on 7-of-17 shooting for the game.
Final Score: LA Lakers 105, Oklahoma City 96
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Perhaps a more generous Kobe Bryant is the answer to the Lakers' problems. For the second consecutive game, Bryant finished with more assists than shot attempts and Los Angeles took down the Oklahoma City Thunder, 105-96, at the Staples Center on Sunday. Bryant scored 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting and matched Friday's assist total against Utah with 14 to help the Lakers to their second consecutive victory. He also tallied nine rebounds. Five other Lakers scored in double-figures, with Steve Nash scoring 17 and Paul Gasol pouring in 16 off the bench. Metta World Peace tallied 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Dwight Howard battled foul trouble most of the contest. He scored eight points and grabbed 10 boards. Kevin Durant scored a game-high 35 points and Russell Westbrook contributed 17 points with 13 assists, as the Thunder alternated wins and losses in capping a six-game road trip. Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins each scored 10 in defeat.
Final Score: New Orleans 91, Memphis 83
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - Ryan Anderson knocked down seven 3-pointers en route to a game-high 22 points off the bench, as the New Orleans Hornets took down the Memphis Grizzlies, 91-83, on Sunday at FedEx Forum. Jason Smith followed with 16 points and Greivis Vasquez handed out 11 assists to help the Hornets halt a two-game skid. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol each recorded a double-double, with Randolph registering 20 points and 13 rebounds and Gasol adding 14 points and 11 boards for the Grizzlies, who had won two straight and four of their last five.
Final Score: Detroit 104, Orlando 102
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Brandon Knight made back-to-back 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter, helping the Detroit Pistons beat the Orlando Magic, 104-102, on Sunday. Knight went 12-of-16 from the floor and made five 3-pointers en route to 31 points for the Pistons, who snapped a two- game skid. Greg Monroe added 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists. J.J. Redick made eight 3-pointers and ended with 31 points for the Magic, who have lost five in a row and 16 of their last 18 games. Jameer Nelson and E'Twaun Moore had 18 points apiece. Glen Davis donated 17 points and 12 rebounds for Orlando, which fell to 8-16 at home this season. Nikola Vucevic tallied 12 points and 17 boards.
Final Score: New York 106, Atlanta 104
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Carmelo Anthony's go-ahead three-point play with 12.5 seconds left capped a 42-point night and lifted the New York Knicks to a 106-104 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. Josh Smith's 3-pointer at the buzzer from the left wing was off the mark. Anthony nailed a franchise record-tying nine triples for New York, which shot 59 percent (16-of-27) from beyond the arc. Anthony's nine treys matched a mark held by John Starks, Latrell Sprewell -- who did it twice -- and Toney Douglas. Amare Stoudemire and J.R. Smith poured in 18 points apiece, while Raymond Felton tallied 12 points and 10 assists in the triumph. Jeff Teague netted 27 points, while Smith added 20 for the Hawks, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.
Final Score: Dallas 110, Phoenix 95
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki scored 18 points apiece to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 110-95 win over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday. Marion also had nine rebounds and five assists in his 1,000th career game. Vince Carter added 15 points, Elton Brand scored 12 and Dahntay Jones finished with 11 for the Mavericks, winners in six of their last eight games. Goran Dragic scored 18 points and dished out eight assists, Luis Scola scored 14 points and P.J. Tucker and Michael Beasley added 12 points apiece for the Suns, who fell to 4-19 on the road this season.
Final Score: LA Clippers 96, Portland 83
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Blake Griffin had 23 points, nine assists, five rebounds and two steals, helping the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Portland Trail Blazers, 96-83. Caron Butler and Eric Bledsoe added 12 and 10 points, respectively, for the Clippers, who snapped a four-game skid. Los Angeles played its fourth straight game without All-Star point guard Chris Paul due to a bruised right kneecap. LaMarcus Aldridge ended with 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Blazers, who had a brief two-game winning streak snapped. Damian Lillard and J.J. Hickson tallied 16 and 15 points, respectively.