Losing a game after 22 straight wins isn’t anything to be ashamed of; Boston is just that good, really, and they took care of Houston’s winning streak. KG had 22, Paul Pierce had 20 with Ray Allen out. Leon Powe came off the bench for 21.
When you open up a 25 point lead, you’re not worrying about struggling to hold on to it. That was not the case for the Lakers, who had to hold off a Dallas comeback without Pau Gasol on the floor and word that Andrew Bynum won’t be back until at least the playoffs. Why the Mavericks left Jason Kidd to take the final shot, though, I’ll never know. Kobe had 29, Nowitzki had 35.
Score 168 in an absolute destruction of the Sonics one game, allow the Pistons to score 136 to beat you — such is the nature of the Denver Nuggets this season. Detroit had seven players in double figures, led by Rip Hamilton’s 24. Carmelo led all scorers with 27, Iverson had 20 and 11 assists.
The Suns are rolling in their own way — very, very quietly in the Shaq Era, and are one game behind the Lakers now by beating Portland. Amare had 25, Nash had 22 and eight assists, and Shaq had 16 points and 14 rebounds. LaMarcus Aldridge had 31 points, and Travis Outlaw, Jarrett Jack, and Channing Frye were all in double figures — but Brandon Roy was not feeling it at all.
Photo: AP/Bob Levey