BOSTON -- Cuttino Mobley had 31 points and 10 rebounds, hitting a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime and another to give the Rockets the lead for good on Monday night as Houston beat the Boston Celtics 101-95.
Steve Francis returned after missing a game with a sore back and scored 33 with nine rebounds and nine assists, hitting two free throws with 20 seconds left in overtime. He added a breakaway dunk for insurance with 8.6 seconds left.
A sellout crowd turned out for Asian-American Night but saw Yao Ming held to nine points on two shots in his first-ever game in Boston. However, the 7-foot-6 rookie hit a nice skyhook in the lane with 3:59 left in the fourth to cap an 11-0 run that cut the Celtics' lead to four points as the Rockets scored 20 of the last 25 points in regulation.
Timberwolves 117, Bucks 114
MILWAUKEE -- Kevin Garnett had 34 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists as the Minnesota Timberwolves ruined Gary Payton's home debut.
Garnett, averaging 28.2 points and 14.2 rebounds in February, now has an NBA-best 47 double-doubles. He was also 12-of-16 from the free-throw line.
Minnesota led 89-72 at the start of the fourth quarter but Milwaukee rallied and cut the lead to two, 116-114, when Sam Cassell stole an inbounds pass and fed Mason for a layup with 2 seconds left. But Troy Hudson, who had 21 points, made one free throw and Garnett stole the inbounds pass to seal the victory.
Payton, a nine-time All-Star, finished with a team-high 21 points and nine assists for the Bucks. It was his first game in Milwaukee since he and Desmond Mason were traded from Seattle on Thursday in exchange for Ray Allen, Kevin Ollie, Ronald Murray and a conditional 2003 draft pick.
Grizzlies 103, Jazz 92
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Wesley Person scored 27 points and shot 6-of-10 from 3-point range as the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Utah Jazz for the first time in four tries.
Utah won the first three meetings by an average of nearly 28 points.
Karl Malone scored 22 points to lead the Jazz, and Matt Harpring added 21. John Stockton had 13.
Bulls 90, Suns 87
CHICAGO -- Jalen Rose recorded his first career triple-double and scored the final seven points as the Chicago Bulls snapped a three-game losing streak.
Rose had 19 points, 11 assists and 14 rebounds, was 7-for-8 from the foul line in the last two minutes to preserve the win.
The Suns cut the Bulls lead to one three times in the final two minutes and Amare Stoudemire had a chance to tie the game at 84 with 13.4 seconds left. Stoudemire tipped in his own miss and was fouled but couldn't convert the three-point play. Each time the Suns got within one Rose answered with free throws.
Warriors 94, Nuggets 89
DENVER -- Gilbert Arenas had 19 points and the Golden State Warriors got 56 points from their bench in handing the Denver Nuggets their ninth straight loss.
Reserves Earl Boykins and Chris Mills had 14 points each as the Warriors bench outscored Denver's reserves by 26. The Warriors needed the help as Antawn Jamison was held to nine points on 2-for-5 shooting.
Juwan Howard led Denver with 29 points. Nene Hilario added 14 points and 12 rebounds as the Nuggets moved within a loss of matching their season-high losing streak.
SuperSonics 86, Pistons 79
SEATTLE -- Ray Allen, playing his first game in Seattle since being traded for Gary Payton last week, scored 14 of his 23 points in the second half as the SuperSonics handed the Detroit Pistons their third consecutive loss.
Detroit fell into a tie with idle Indiana for first place in the Central Division.
Allen, a three-time All-Star, also had eight assists.
Rashard Lewis had 22 points and eight rebounds for the Sonics, who sent Payton and Desmond Mason to Milwaukee in exchange for Allen and two other players Thursday.
Peninsula Clarion ©2014. All Rights Reserved.