BOSTON - FEBRUARY 13: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat reacts when an official failed to call a foul against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on February 13 2011 in Boston Massachusetts. The Celtics won 85-82. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this Photograph user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim Rogash/ Getty Images)

NBA Scores And More: Celtics Deny Heat, Magic Stomp Lakers

Chris Bosh came up big against the Celtics, but Boston pulled away with a close win. In other action, Dwight Howard destroyed the Lakers and Carmelo Anthony scored a bunch in vain as the Nuggets lost again.

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Heat Vs. Celtics: Chris Bosh Excels, But Boston Nudges Miami Again

Chris Bosh broke out for 24 points on 8-11 shooting, but the Miami Heat couldn't get a potential game-tying three-pointer from Mike Miller to fall in the closing seconds, giving the Boston Celtics a third win in the season series 85-82. Miller had a clean look from the top of the arc as the clock wound down, but it wouldn't go.

That was one of few open shots either team got all afternoon. These two squads play defense, and play it well. That results in too many outside jumpers, and too many misses. The team combined to hit 7-31 from beyond the arc; Paul Pierce shot 0-5 on three-pointers and a shocking 0-10 overall. (That actually wasn't the worst shooting performance of Pierce's career; he went 0-11 against Cleveland in 1999.)

LeBron James scored 22 points for Miami, having been successful in the post early; he didn't draw many fouls, though, and his deep jumper betrayed him as it had almost everyone else. Dwyane Wade was pretty bad, continuing a trend against the Celtics this season. Wade shot 6-17 for 16 inefficient points.

Whether the media runs with this win as the final indictment on the future of the Miami Heat remains to be seen. It's worth noting that two of Miami's three losses to Boston were really tight affairs, this one coming down to a possession. Boston is clearly a great team, but nothing we saw on Sunday represents some impossible mountain to climb for the Heat. These teams, as it turns out, are pretty evenly matched.


Lakers Vs. Magic: Dwight Howard Unstoppable Against Champs

Dwight Howard had 31 points and 13 rebounds as the Orlando Magic beat back the Los Angeles Lakers 89-75 on Sunday afternoon. The Lakers' offense was dreadful, converting just 39 percent of its shots and just two of 16 three-pointers. Orlando's own offense outside of Howard wasn't particularly efficient; the Magic finished with an offensive rating of just 105, below its standard. But the Magic defense was legitimately great, better than it has been all season (which is saying something).

Kobe Bryant shot 8-18 for 17 points, a rather inefficient but not disastrous night. Pau Gasol's line was similar: He had 11 points on 12 shots. Andrew Bynum scored 17 points on 15 shots, thanks in part to six offensive rebounds (huge against the best defensive rebounding team in the NBA). Lamar Odom drew 10 of L.A.'s 15 free throws (an oddity), but converted just half of them. The Lakers finished seven of 15 from the line, with Kobe earning zero.

The Lakers were in the game into the fourth quarter, until a 13-4 by Orlando over the middle of the final period closed the game out. That run included a span with Kobe and Pau still resting on the bench, and then in with Phil Jackson using a(n unsuccessful) three-guard line-up.

The loss was the first of the Lakers' Grammys road trip. L.A. still has stops in Charlotte (Monday) and Cleveland (Wednesday) remaining.


Nuggets Vs. Grizzlies: Carmelo Anthony Has Another Scoring Explosion In Vain

If Carmelo Anthony isn't dealt by the Feb. 24 NBA trade deadline, the Denver Nuggets need to find a way to help him out on the scoreboard. For seemingly the 10th time in the last month, 'Melo exploded for a solid point total on efficient shooting only to see his team lose. Anthony had 28 points on just 20 shots against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday, but the Nuggets still fell 116-108.

Of course, defense has been a particular problem for Denver too. Memphis had an effective field goal percentage of .570 and an offensive rating of 123.1, ridiculously high numbers on both counts. 'Melo's performance buoyed a strong offensive night for Denver, too (including .581 eFG). But Memphis was so good on the offensive glass, in drawing fouls and in limiting turnovers that it was just too much for the Nuggets.

Darrell Arthur scored 24 points off the bench for Memphis, a team in need of a dependable third big man. Zach Randolph, the man in front of Arthur, scored 14 points and added 16 rebounds (five of them offensive). Mike Conley had 17 points and five assists.


Wizards Vs. Cavaliers: Cleveland A Gracious Host For Previously Winless On The Road Washington

The Cleveland Cavaliers are on a roll. After ending their own 26-game losing streak on Friday, the Cavs helped the Washington Wizards end their 25-game road losing streak on Sunday. Washington triumphed 115-100 in Cleveland on Sunday, getting off the losing train. Cleveland's back on it (all aboard!) after ending their own embarrassment against the Clippers.

Cavaliers. Wizards. Clippers. Sounds like a fun weekend of yeesh.

The Wizards now need one more road win this season to avoid tying the NBA record for worst road record, which stands at 1-40. Washington does visit Cleveland again this season, so ... no worries, right?

In other action:

Blazers 105, Pistons 100: LaMarcus Aldridge is a beast; he lit up the Pistons to the tune of 36 points. Wesley Matthews added 26 as Portland closed it out.

Warriors 100, Thunder 94: Golden State beat the Thunder without running their lungs into submission, with Monta Ellis lighting up OKC for 33 points and David Lee and Stephen Curry adding 23 each. Kevin Durant scored 29 and the Thunder shot really well, but 20 turnovers (six of them by Russell Westbrook) were a problem.

Kings 113, Suns 108: The Kings won with DeMarcus Cousins suspended for a post-game fight with Donte Greene on Saturday. Facile, lazy writers would have you believe the team's chemistry was better with Cousins on the self. The lucid would point out that the Kings had already beaten Phoenix once this year with Cousins playing a massive role, and would also point out that a) the Kings made their free throws on Sunday (a rare occurence) and b) the Suns are among the worst rebounding teams in memory, and Sacramento happens to be excellent on the offensive glass. Eighteen offensive rebounds for Sacramento in the win.

Raptors 98, Clippers 93: The Clippers' road trip is, as expected, not going terribly well. L.A. is now 1-5 since leaving the sometimes friendly confines of Staples Center, with the loss in Toronto only less demoralizing than it'd normally be because the Friday loss in Cleveland was so epically demoralizing. I believe in Ed Davis, who had 13 and 14 (with three blocks) off the bench.

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