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Allen's 3-pointer gives Boston 111-109 OT win

RAY Allen made a 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left in the second overtime to lift the Boston Celtics over the Charlotte Bobcats 111-109 and into second place in the NBA's Eastern Conference yesterday.

The Bobcats, fighting for the final playoff spot in the conference, blew leads in the last 30 seconds of the fourth quarter and both overtimes and fell 1? games behind the Chicago Bulls, who were idle. The Celtics moved a game ahead of Orlando, which lost to Toronto.

Paul Pierce led Boston with 32 points, Allen added 22 and Rajon Rondo had 21 points and nine assists. Gerald Wallace had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Bobcats, and Boris Diaw scored 17 points.

Mavericks 98, Heat 96

At Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki scored 30 points, and Josh Howard had 20 points and drew a game-saving foul with 2.3 seconds left in Dallas' victory over Miami.

The Mavericks beat the Heat for the 10th straight time in the regular season.

Dwyane Wade had 23 points and six assists, but wasn't able to pull off any late-game heroics, in part because of stiff defense by Jason Kidd.

Lakers 104, Bucks 98

At Milwaukee, Kobe Bryant rebounded from a rough shooting night to hit his first seven from the field and score 30 points, and Pau Gasol had eight of his 15 in the fourth quarter as Los Angeles beat Milwaukee.

Lamar Odom added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who were playing the finale of a grueling seven-game road trip and coming off two straight losses.

Ramon Sessions had his first career triple-double for the Bucks, who fell four games out of the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot. Sessions finished with 16 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds.

Raptors 99, Magic 95

At Orlando, Florida, Chris Bosh had 24 points, including a 22-footer over Dwight Howard with 29 seconds left that put the game out of reach, as Toronto beat Orlando.

Jose Calderon had 21 points, and Shawn Marion added 17 points and 15 rebounds for the Raptors, who nearly blew an 11-point lead before holding on to extend their season-high winning streak to five games. Rashard Lewis missed a potential tying 3-pointer with 20 seconds left to seal Toronto's win.

Dwight Howard had 30 points and nine rebounds for Orlando.

Suns 114, Rockets 109

At Phoenix, Steve Nash had 25 points and 17 assists as Phoenix held on to beat Houston and breathe some life into its flickering playoff hopes.

Grant Hill had 23 points, Shaquille O'Neal 22 and Jason Richardson 18 as the Suns won their season-best sixth straight at home. Phoenix snapped a three-game losing streak overall to remain four games behind Dallas for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West, with just seven to play.

Ron Artest scored 28 for the Rockets, who dropped to fourth in the crowded scramble for playoff positioning in the West.

Hornets 104, Clippers 98

At Los Angeles, Chris Paul had 30 points and 14 assists and David West added 19 points as New Orleans moved closer to the top of the Southwest Division by beating Los Angeles.

The Hornets are just one game behind idle San Antonio in the Southwest Division and a half-game behind Houston, which lost in Phoenix.

Eric Gordon scored 11 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, including a jumper that put Los Angeles ahead by one. Zach Randolph added 24 for the Clippers, who lost their ninth straight to New Orleans.

Nets 111, Pistons 98

At East Rutherford, New Jersey, Devin Harris had 19 points and 11 assists as New Jersey snapped a season-high, five-game losing streak by beating sluggish Detroit.

Keyon Dooling, inserted into the starting lineup to give the team more life, scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half in helping the reeling Nets win for only the seventh time in 24 games. The point total matched his season high.

Richard Hamilton scored 29 points for the Pistons, who were playing their fourth game in five nights. They were also without Rasheed Wallace, who was suspended for picking up his 16th technical foul the night before.

Grizzlies 112, Wizards 107

At Memphis, Tennessee, Rudy Gay scored 25 points and Mike Conley added 22 to lead Memphis over Washington for its first home win since the All-Star break.

Marc Gasol and O.J. Mayo scored 18 points apiece. Gasol grabbed nine rebounds, and Mayo had seven assists. Hakim Warrick had 12 points.

Caron Butler had 31 points for Washington, which lost its third straight, while Antawn Jamison had 28 points and 10 rebounds. Javaris Crittenton finished with 13 points and a career-high 11 rebounds.

Warriors 143, Kings 141, OT

At Oakland, California, Monta Ellis scored a career-high 42 points to overcome Kevin Martin's career-best 50 as Golden State snapped a five-game losing streak with an overtime victory over Sacramento.

Ronny Turiaf made the go-ahead free throw with 12.2 seconds left for the Warriors, who blew a four-point lead late in regulation and then missed two free throws in the final moments of overtime to keep the Kings in it.

Beno Udrih scored 18 points and tied it for Sacramento late in regulation with a length-of-the-court drive for a layup. But after Martin missed a potential go-ahead jumper in the lane with 6 seconds left in overtime, Udrih couldn't make a bank shot right before the buzzer for the Kings, who missed their final seven shots.


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