BOSTON -- Paul Pierce scored 28 points, including a 3-pointer with 1:54 left in overtime that gave the Celtics the lead for good, and Boston beat the depleted Los Angeles Lakers 98-95 Thursday night.
Kobe Bryant had 41 points on a hot-and-cold night in which he hit just 4-of-15 in the first half, scored 18 in the third quarter and then missed 10 consecutive field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter and overtime. He was 17-for-47 from the field overall, and 0-for-8 from 3-point range.
Timberwolves 114, Bucks 110
MINNEAPOLIS -- Kevin Garnett had 28 points and 24 rebounds, and Wally Szczerbiak returned to the lineup with 19 points as Minnesota beat Milwaukee.
Garnett tied his own career high and franchise record for rebounds, set on Dec. 14, 2001 against Sacramento. He went 20-20 in points and rebounds for the ninth time in his career as the Wolves extended their winning streak against the Bucks to seven games.
Minnesota overcame 22 first-half points from the Bucks' Sam Cassell and 18 third-quarter points from teammate Ray Allen. Cassell finished with 32 points and Allen had 27.
Pistons 89, Nuggets 63
DENVER -- Chauncey Billups scored 21 points, including five 3-pointers, and the Pistons beat the Nuggets. Billups, who shot 5-of-8 from 3-point range, had 10 points in the third quarter to help the Pistons increase a 10-point lead to as much as 27.
He did not play in the fourth quarter.
Richard Hamilton added 15 points, and Ben Wallace had 13 rebounds for Detroit, which shot 48 percent compared to Denver's 32 percent.
James Posey led Denver with 21 points, and rookie Nene Hilario came off the bench to score 10.
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