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Celtics thwart Knicks' rally at free-throw line

By Associated Press
Published December 5, 2005

NEW YORK - Ricky Davis had seen this kind of thing before. Boston would build a big lead, then let the other team back into the game.

It almost never ended well for the Celtics. On Sunday, Davis got a pleasant surprise.

Davis scored 27 and made two free throws with 8.7 seconds left, and New York's Nate Robinson missed a long 3-pointer on the game's final play as the Celtics beat the Knicks 102-99.

"Usually when guys come back from a lead we kind of hang our heads," Davis said. "We just kept executing, kept getting defensive stops. That's what I liked about it."

The Celtics led by as many as 14 in the third, but Channing Frye hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the quarter to cut Boston's advantage to 76-67. From there, the Knicks chipped away until they got within 99-98 with 21.4 seconds left.

Moments later, Boston reserve guard Dan Dickau scored his only points, making two free throws. The Knicks got back within 100-99 on two free throws by Stephon Marbury with 8.9 seconds left.

But Davis hit two free throws, and Robinson was unable to make a big buzzer-beater.

"Sometimes the ball goes in your favor, sometimes it don't," Robinson said.

Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 28 points and nine rebounds. Over the past four games, Pierce is averaging 29.8 points and 11 rebounds.

SONICS 107, PACERS 102: Ray Allen scored 25 as Seattle won its third straight. Allen and Rashard Lewis managed just two points for the first 10 minutes of the fourth quarter, but backup guard Ronald Murray picked up the slack, scoring eight of his 18 in the fourth. Ron Artest tied his season high with 30 points for Indiana, which wrapped up a five-game road trip.

SUNS 112, HAWKS 94: James Jones and Shawn Marion each scored 20 as host Phoenix won its sixth in a row. The winning streak is the longest in the league and lifted it within a half-game of the Pacific Division co-leading Clippers and Warriors.

WOLVES 85, KINGS 77: Wally Szczerbiak scored 18 and Troy Hudson had 17 to help visiting Minnesota overcome Kevin Garnett's shooting problems. Garnett, 3-for-14 from the field, had a season-low 11 points and also finished with 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who have won two straight and six of eight to take over first place in the Northwest Division.

TIMBERWOLVES 85, KINGS 77: Wally Szczerbiak scored 18 and Troy Hudson had 17 to help visiting Minnesota send Sacramento to its third straight loss.

Kevin Garnett had a season-low 11 points for the Timberwolves, who have won six of eight overall to take over first in the Northwest.

LAKERS 99, BOBCATS 98: Kobe Bryant scored 29 and made two free throws with seven seconds remaining for host Los Angeles.

Melvin Ely scored 20, Brevin Knight added 17 and Emeka Okafor grabbed 12 rebounds for the Bobcats, who lost their ninth in a row on the road.

TRAIL BLAZERS: Forward Darius Miles, averaging 18.2 points and 5.6 rebounds, sat out against Utah because of cartilage damage in his right knee and was put on the inactive list.

RIVERS FINED: Celtics coach Doc Rivers was fined $10,000 by the league for failing to leave the court in a timely manner after getting ejected during a 106-102 loss to Chicago on Friday.

[Last modified December 5, 2005, 03:00:29]


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