The Boston Celtics chalked up their fourth consecutive victory by crushing the New Jersey Nets 105-85 on Saturday. Ray Allen scored 25 points and five other Celtics were in double figures for the Atlantic Division leaders, who had lost seven of nine games before beginning their winning streak.
"We know first hand that's when teams get confident, early on, and keep it going throughout the game," Allen said. "We've lost a couple of games this year that way, from not coming out with the right energy." Meanwhile, the Orlando Magic made it seven wins in a row as they defeated the Denver Nuggets 106-88 with Hedo Turkoglu scoring 31 points. Manu Ginobli led the San Antonio Spurs to a 92-87 victory over the Chicago Bulls as he bagged 21 points as they came from behind to triumph.
Chris Paul hit a jumper with 3:19 remaining to hand the New Orleans Hornets a 91-85 win and deal the Detroit Pistons their fifth straight loss, while Yao Ming contributed 26 points to lead the Houston Rockets to a 93-86 win over the Miami Heat. Emeka Okafor scored six of his 22 points in overtime to lift the Charlotte Bobcats to a 102-97 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, while Andre Iguodala netted 28 points as the Philadelphia 76ers had a 107-97 win over the New York Knicks.
The Dallas Mavericks had 39-points from Dirk Nowitzki to thank for their 115-108 win over the Utah Jazz, while the Los Angeles Clippers ended a 12-game losing streak with a 101-92 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. * With Agencies