BOSTON: Trevor Ariza scored 27 points and the Washington Wizards rallied in the final six minutes to defeat the Boston Celtics 106-99 in an NBA matchup yesterday.
The Wizards did not lead until the final three minutes of the contest, but Washington ended the game with a 22-7 spurt to dump the host Celtics, who lead the Atlantic division despite a 12-16 record.
Boston had defeated Washington in their past seven meetings, but could not stretch the streak as John Wall produced 20 points, nine assists and six steals for the Wizards.
Polish forward Marcin Gortat, French forward Kevin Seraphin and Brazilian big man Nene each contributed 13 points for the Wizards, who won their third game in a row after a four-game losing streak to stand 12-13 on the season.
Boston squandered an 18-point lead despite 26 points from Avery Bradley, 22 points and 11 rebounds from Jared Sullinger and 11 points and 11 rebounds from Brandon Bass.
Russell Westbrook scored 31 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder in a victory over the San Antonio Spurs 113-100 in a Saturday showdown of NBA division leaders.
Westbrook, who hit 13-of-22 from the floor and added eight assists for the Thunder, netted 11 points in the third quarter as Oklahoma City improved the NBA’s best record to 22-4, while the Spurs fell to 21-6.
It was the Thunder’s ninth victory in a row and fifth road triumph in a row, while San Antonio lost for the second time in four games.
Reggie Jackson came off the Thunder bench to contribute 21 points while Kevin Durant scored 17 points and Spanish Olympian Serge Ibaka scored 14 points and pulled down 14 rebounds for Northwest division leader Oklahoma City, which stayed just atop Portland (22-5).
The Spurs welcomed back star French guard Tony Parker after a bruised right shin had sidelined him for two games, and Parker responded with team-highs of 23 points and eight assists.
But it was not enough for San Antonio, which also had 17 points each from Tim Duncan and Italy’s Marco Belinelli, plus 14 points off the bench by Frenchman Boris Diaw and 11 by Argentine star reserve guard Manu Ginobili.
Belinelli netted all of his points in the first half, aided by shooting 5-of-6 from 3-point range, while Duncan had 10 rebounds and Thiago Splitter grabbed 11 rebounds for the Spurs, who remain atop the Southwest division.
The Thunder closed the first half strong to seize a 61-50 edge and Oklahoma city kept an 85-76 advantage entering the fourth quarter. Zach Randolph scored 25 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to power Memphis over the host New York Knicks 95-87 on Saturday, snapping a five-game losing streak for the Grizzlies. Tony Allen added 19 points and eight rebounds for Memphis while Jerryd Bayless netted 11 points and Kosta Koufos and Ed Davis each contributed 10 for the Grizzlies, who improved to 11-15.
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 30 points and seven rebounds while Tim Hardawaya Jnr and JR Smith added 16 points each for the Knicks. Agencies