Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard, (12) attempts to black the dunk by Boston Celtics' Raef LaFrentz, (45) in the third quarter in Orlando, Fla. Monday, Nov. 29, 2004.
AP Photo/Peter Cosgrove
ORLANDO, Fla. Doc Rivers got his team back on track while gaining a measure of revenge on his old squad, and the Boston Celtics snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Orlando Magic 117-101 on Monday night.
The Magic fired Rivers a year ago, after four-plus seasons, when the team stumbled out to a 1-10 start. Rivers, the NBA's coach of the year in 2001, had a 171-168 record with three trips to the playoffs.
Paul Pierce scored 24 points, leading seven players in double figures, as the Celtics enjoyed their best offensive performance of the season. Marcus Banks added a season-high 20 off the bench for Boston, which shot 47 percent and made 26 of 31 free throws.
Nuggets 76, Hornets 67
DENVER Earl Boykins scored 22 points to help the Denver Nuggets overcome the absence of Carmelo Anthony and defeat the New Orleans Hornets.
The Nuggets won for the sixth time in seven games, but struggled mightily against the Hornets, who came into the final stop of a five-game road trip with the league's worst record and without Jamaal Magloire, Baron Davis, Rodney Rogers and Jamal Mashburn.
Lee Nailon scored 16 points for the Hornets, who missed 13 of 17 shots in the fourth quarter and went scoreless for seven minutes down the stretch, a period that saw their one-point lead turn into an eight-point deficit.
David West ended the drought with a layup at the 1:08 mark. The bucket helped the Hornets avoid matching the lowest point total in their 16-year history.
Clippers 94, Cavaliers 82
LOS ANGELES Elton Brand had a season-high 30 points and six assists, Bobby Simmons scored nine of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, and the Clippers completed the second-best November in franchise history.
By winning their fourth straight game, the Clippers (9-6) have their best November record since the 1974-75 team, playing in Buffalo, went 12-4. The only other times the Clippers have had a winning record in November were in 1977 (8-6) and 1992 (7-6).
The loss was just the second in 11 games for the Cavaliers (9-5), who were shooting for their first 10-win November since 1977.
LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 22 points, seven rebounds, five assists and six steals.
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