The Boston Celtics snapped a five-game losing streak thanks to a late steal by Kevin Garnett to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 86-83. The Celtics cling to the No. 8 seed in the East, and now have the tiebreaker via a 2-1 head-to-head advantage over Cleveland, one of the team's chasing Boston.
That Boston needs a tiebreaker over Cleveland is a bit of a problem.
The Celtics were sloppy, conceding a 16-point first half lead and getting into a dogfight with the Cavaliers. Kyrie Irving dropped 19 points in the second half to keep Cleveland alive, but Ray Allen (22 points, 8-13 shooting) and Garnett (18 points) produced enough offense to get Boston the win.
The C's are now 16-17, 2.5 games ahead of Cleveland.
In other action:
Bucks 119, Wizards 118: Washington almost pulled out the high-scoring road win, one that Scott Skiles must be seething over, even in victory. The Wizards shot 13-24 on three-pointers, nearly making up for Milwaukee advantages in foul drawing, rebounding and turnovers. Mike "Funleavy" Dunleavy was the game's leading scorer with 26.
Kings 103, Jazz 96: Utah's playoff run just might be over as the Jazz fell to 15-18 with a loss in Sacramento. DeMarcus Cousins thoroughly outplayed Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson, finishing with 22 points and 18 rebounds.