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Celtics triumph over 76ers 109-101

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Paul Pierce had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Avery Bradley scored 22 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a 109-101 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.

Kevin Garnett scored 18 points to help the Celtics continued their push up the Eastern Conference standings. The Celtics entered in seventh, but were no more than two games behind the next three teams ahead in the standings.

Led by Pierce, the Celtics controlled the game and used a 9-0 run midway through the fourth quarter to seal the win. Last May, these two teams went to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. On Wednesday, the Sixers lost for the ninth time in 10 games and are well out of the playoff race.

Jrue Holiday had 18 points and 10 assists for the Sixers, and Thaddeus Young had 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Thunder 122, Lakers 105 Russell Westbrook had 37 points and 10 rebounds, Kevin Durant scored 26 and the Thunder held off a second-half charge.

The Thunder led from start to finish, but had their 18-point lead whittled down to five midway through the fourth quarter. Serge Ibaka, who dodged a suspension after delivering a low blow against Blake Griffin in Oklahoma City's previous game, hit a 3-pointer and Westbrook had a two-handed slam as the Thunder scored the last 12 points.

Kobe Bryant ended up with 30 points after leaving the game with a right elbow injury in the first quarter. Steve Nash matched his season best with 20 points as the Lakers fell back below .500 after reaching the mark for the first time since December.

Oklahoma City tied an NBA record with two turnovers. Milwaukee set the record in a game against Indiana on April 1, 2006, and Cleveland tied it in an overtime game against Portland on March 19, 2009.

Nuggets 120, Kings 113 Ty Lawson had 24 points and Danilo Gallinari added 23 for the Nuggets as they won their sixth straight game.

The deep and talented Nuggets used a 36-point third quarter to build a lead against the Kings that they never relinquished in winning their season-best third straight road game. They scored 70 second-half points when they shot nearly 64 percent.

The streaking Nuggets have won seven of eight games, including 11 in a row at home, where they own a 26-3 record, which ties Miami for the best mark in the NBA.

Kenneth Faried had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Andre Miller scored 16 and Kosta Koufos had 15 points and eight rebounds for Denver.

Marcus Thornton continued his torrid scoring of late, making five 3-pointers and getting in 32 points for the Kings.

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Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant #24 drives around Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant in the first quarter of an NBA game in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 5. (AP)



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