Celtics rip 76ers

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Boston guard Rajon Rondo follows through on a 3-pointer as Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala (from left) and Nikola Vucevic defend during the Celtics' 24-point victory.  MICHAEL DWYER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
MICHAEL DWYER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Boston guard Rajon Rondo follows through on a 3-pointer as Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala (from left) and Nikola Vucevic defend during the Celtics' 24-point victory.

BOSTON — Kevin Garnett scored 20 points and Rajon Rondo dished out double-digit assists for his 17th consecutive game, finishing with 15 to help lead the Boston Celtics to a 103-79 win over the struggling Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night.

Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley each added 18 points, and Paul Pierce had 17 as the Celtics won for the seventh time in nine games, improving their Atlantic Division lead to three games over both the 76ers and New York Knicks.

Nikola Vucevic led Philadelphia with 14 points and Andre Iguodala had 13. The 76ers have dropped 10 of 14, falling out of first in the Atlantic and forced to compete for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They are tied with the Knicks for seventh place, one game ahead of Milwaukee.

The Celtics held Philadelphia to 27.3 percent shooting in the second quarter (6 of 22).

HEAT 98, PISTONS 75

In Miami, LeBron James scored 26 points, Chris Bosh finished with 22 points and nine rebounds, and Miami steadily pulled away to beat Detroit.

James Jones scored 18 on 6 for 8 shooting from 3-point range for Miami, which played without Dwyane Wade for the 11th time this season. Wade sat out with right ankle soreness, which the team said was caused by an awkward landing on a dunk attempt against Memphis on Friday night.

Detroit rookie Brandon Knight scored 16 for the Pistons.

NETS 122, CAVALIERS 117 (OT)

In Newark, N.J., Gerald Green scored a season-high 32 points, including a clutch 3-pointer with 36.7 seconds left in regulation and a high-flying dunk in overtime, leading New Jersey to a win over Cleveland.

Anthony Morrow scored 24 points, Deron Williams had 18 points and 10 assists, and Kris Humphries added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Nets.

Antawn Jamison scored a season high-tying 34 points for Cleveland.


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