Rondo powers Celtics past James-less Heat

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BOSTON — Rajon Rondo hit two running baseline shots in the last two minutes and the Boston Celtics capitalized on the absence of LeBron James to beat the Miami Heat 101-96 Wednesday night.

One night after scoring 43 points in a 100-96 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, James sat out the game with back spasms and the Heat lost for the first time in their three games without him this season.

Rondo finished with nine points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds as Boston stopped a five-game losing streak.

The Heat, which had won their previous two games after losing five of six, were led by Wade with 17 points, Chris Andersen with 16 and Ray Allen and Udonis Haslem with 14 each.

76ERS: Down and out or down to the wire, Philadelphia is freefalling toward NBA history.

D.J Augustin scored 20 points and Taj Gibson had 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 102-94 win over Philadelphia, handing the 76ers their 22nd consecutive loss.

The Sixers are four losses shy of matching the NBA record for the longest single-season losing streak. The Cleveland Cavaliers set the record of 26 consecutive losses in the 2010-11 season. The Vancouver Grizzlies (1995-96), Denver Nuggets (1997-98) and Charlotte Bobcats (2011-12) each lost 23 in a row.

NETS: Deron Williams scored 23 points, former Hawk Joe Johnson added 20 and Brooklyn overcame a late deficit to win its 10th in a row at home, beating the Charlotte Bobcats 104-99.

KNICKS: Mike Woodson not only isn’t mad the organization wanted Phil Jackson for his job, he knows a guy if Jackson seeks a coach to run the triangle offense.

“Could I teach it? Absolutely I could teach it,” Woodson said Wednesday. “But it’d be even better if he’d help me teach it. That would be great. Who would be better in teaching the triangle than Phil Jackson?”

Woodson spoke for the first time since the Knicks’ news conference Tuesday, when he learned that Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan originally spoke to Jackson in December about coaching the team. Jackson wasn’t interested, but the Knicks instead hired him as team president.

“Mr. Dolan, this is his team, he has that right to talk to anyone about a coaching position,” Woodson said. “Again, I mean, he said it, it happened obviously. But again, I’m the coach of the Knicks right now and I still have a job to do.”

OBITUARY: Sam Lacey, a former NBA All-Star center who spent most of his 13-year career with the Kansas City Kings, has died. He was 66.

In a statement released through the team Wednesday, Sacramento Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro called Lacey “one of the finest and longest-tenured players to ever don a Kings uniform.”


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