The NBA champion Boston Celtics beat the Toronto Raptors 118-103, scoring the game's first 10 points on the way to their fifth successive victory. Seven Celtics scored in double figures led by Ray Allen's 21 points, giving the Eastern Conference leaders their 13th victory in 15 games. Toronto, the Atlantic Division's worst team, dropped to 6-7. Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo and Tony Allen each had 15 points for the Celtics.
The Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Rondo's speed was a big factor. "When he pushes the ball up the floor, every single possession, we score out of our sets and we score out of our routes, and that makes us good offensively," Rivers said. In Los Angeles Kobe Bryant scored 24 points as the hosts beat Sacramento to improve the NBA's best record to 11-1. Minnesota Timberwolves beat Detroit Pistons 106-80 for its first road victory of the season.
Denver Nuggests closed the game on an 18-2 spurt over Chicago Bulls 114-101. Philadelphia 76ersmoved above .500 for the first time this season when they edged out the Golden State Warriors 89-81. * Reuters