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NBA roundup: Cavaliers beat Celtics 121-99 on Paul Pierce's day

LeBron James quieted a Celtics crowd that came to celebrate Paul Pierce on Sunday, scoring 24 points with 10 assists and eight rebounds to give new-look Cleveland a 121-99 victory over Boston in an individual performance reminiscent of the rivalry's heyday.

And this time, Pierce was sitting courtside in street clothes, unable to do anything about it.

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James shook off a first-quarter leg injury to score 13 in the second quarter — eight of them during a 13-2 run that turned a one-point deficit into a double-digit lead. The Celtics made it 64-55 on the first basket of the third quarter but never got within 10 again.

As the Cavaliers opened a 27-point lead midway through the fourth, the crowd began chanting "We want Paul Pierce!" But he remained in his baseline seat, awaiting the postgame ceremony that would raise his No. 34 to the TD Garden rafters — the 23rd person in the history of the NBA's most-decorated franchise to be so honored.

The current Celtics, who have spent much of the season in first place in the East, could have used him.

Terry Rozier scored 21 with nine assists and Kyrie Irving scored 18 against his former team before sitting out the fourth quarter as the game became a blowout. The Celtics have lost three of four to fall behind Toronto in the Eastern Conference playoff race; the Cavaliers, who have won three straight, are 5{ games behind Boston.

In their first appearances for Cleveland since being acquired at the trade deadline, Jordan Clarkson scored 17 and George Hill had 12 points.

at Charlotte 123, Toronto 103: DeMar DeRozan had 25 points and eight assists and C.J. Miles had 24 points and the Toronto Raptors routed the Charlotte Hornets 123-103 Sunday.

Six players scored in double figures for the Raptors, who won their fifth straight game and improved to 39-16.

Jonas Valanciunas added 21 points and nine rebounds for Toronto, sparking the Raptors' pivotal run in the third quarter.

Toronto made 48.6 percent from 3-point range, led by Miles' 6-for-9 shooting.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey earned his 300th victory as head coach of the team.

Kemba Walker led the Hornets with 23 points and nine assists as Charlotte lost its fourth consecutive game. Dwight Howard added 17 points and 13 rebounds for Charlotte.

at Atlanta 118, Detroit 115: Dewayne Dedmon gave Atlanta the lead with a three-point play and then padded the margin with a 3-pointer, lifting the Hawks to a 118-115 win over Blake Griffin and Detroit Pistons on Sunday.

Dedmon matched his career high with 20 points and had 13 rebounds in his matchup with Andre Drummond, who had 25 points and 15 rebounds for Detroit.

Dennis Schroder had 23 points, including six free throws in the final 20 seconds, for Atlanta.

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Dedmon's three-point play gave Atlanta a 109-107 lead with 1:34 remaining. Following a missed jumper by Jameer Nelson, Dedmon sank a 3-pointer from the corner to push the lead to five points.

Griffin, who had 23 points, answered with a 3-pointer for Detroit. Schroder made two free throws for a 114-110 lead. Griffin's layup cut the Atlanta lead to two points before Schroder added two more free throws with 9.2 seconds remaining for a 116-112 advantage.

Anthony Tolliver missed a 3-pointer for Detroit before Schroder iced the win with two more free throws. Griffin added a 3 as the final buzzer sounded.

at Indiana 121, New York 113: Victor Oladipo had 30 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, and the Indiana Pacers beat the New York Knicks 121-113 on Sunday.

Bojan Bogdanovic made four 3-pointers and finished with 20 points and Thaddeus Young added 18 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for the Pacers, who have won six of eight.

Enes Kanter and Tim Hardaway, Jr. each scored 17 points, and Michael Beasley had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Knicks, whose losing streak reached six games.

The Pacers went on a 14-2 run in the second quarter and took a 53-45 lead on an alley-oop layup by Young with 5:45 remaining in the opening half.

Stephenson's 3-pointer with 3:44 to play in the second quarter put Indiana ahead 58-55, and the Pacers never trailed the rest of the way.

They led 68-62 at halftime and put together a 13-2 run in the third quarter to pull away. The Pacers led by as much as 20 when Domantas Sabonis scored to make it 90-70 with 4:10 left in the third.

at Minnesota 111, Sacramento 106: Karl-Anthony Towns scored 29 points, Jeff Teague added 12 points and 10 assists and the Minnesota Timberwolves overcame an uncharacteristic sloppy performance at home to beat the Sacramento Kings 111-106 on Sunday night.

Minnesota had 17 turnovers and allowed Sacramento 22 second-chance points, but prevailed after back-to-back road losses. Jimmy Butler scored 18 points, 15 in the second half, for the Timberwolves in their 13th straight home win.

De'Aaron Fox had 23 points and Bogdan Bogdanovic chipped in 13 for Sacramento, which has lost four of its past five games. Reserves Buddy Hield (16 points) and Kosta Koufos (12) provided a spark off the bench and helped the Kings' backups outscore Minnesota's 41-21.

A sloppy game handling the ball by both teams led to a combined 36 turnovers.

at Houston 104, Dallas 97: James Harden scored 27 points, Chris Paul added 25 and the Houston Rockets easily handled the short-handed Dallas Mavericks to get a 104-97 win on Sunday night.

The Rockets have won eight straight and 12 of 13.

The Rockets led for most of the game, but the Mavericks kept it close until a couple of runs in the third quarter allowed Houston to pull away.

They were up by 12 to start the fourth quarter and led 93-77 after four straight points by Nene early in the quarter. Yogi Ferrell had the next seven points, highlighted by a 3-pointer he made before crashing to the ground as he was fouled, to cut the lead to 93-84 with about eight minutes remaining.

Houston scored the next five points, with a basket from Paul just before the shot clock expired followed by a 3 from Harden that spurred Dallas coach Rick Carlisle to call a timeout with about six minutes left.

But the Mavericks, who were playing their first game this season without Dirk Nowitzki, didn't threaten again and most of the Rockets' starters were soon on the bench with the game in hand.

at Oklahoma City 110, Memphis 92: Paul George scored 33 points to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Memphis Grizzlies 110-92 on Sunday night without fellow stars Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony.

The All-Star forward carried more of the load than usual with Westbrook and Anthony sidelined. Westbrook missed the game with a sprained left ankle and Carmelo Anthony sat out with a sprained right ankle. George responded by making 10 of 24 shots and adding eight assists.

Alex Abrines scored 16 points and Raymond Felton, Jerami Grant and Patrick Patterson each added 14 for the Thunder. They had lost five of six and were falling in the Western Conference standings.

Marc Gasol scored 18 points, and JaMychal Green added 14 for the Grizzlies. They have lost six in a row.

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The Thunder had one of their most productive offensive halves of the season to lead 74-54 at the break. George scored 22 points and Abrines added 16 as Oklahoma City shot 59 percent from the floor and made 12 of 17 3-pointers in the first half.

The Thunder bolted out of the gate with an 8-0 run to start the second half that included 3-pointers by George and Felton. Oklahoma City pushed its lead to 28 in the third quarter and took a 95-80 advantage into the fourth quarter. A lob from Felton for a dunk by rookie Terrance Ferguson pushed Oklahoma City's edge to 102-80.

Utah 115, at Portland 96: Donovan Mitchell scored 27 points and newcomer Jae Crowder had 15 in his Utah debut to help the Jazz win their 10th straight game, 115-96 over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night.

Joe Ingles added 24 points for the Jazz, who were playing without Ricky Rubio because of a sore hip. It is Utah's longest winning streak since stringing together nine in 2010.

Damian Lillard, coming off a 50-point game against Sacramento on Friday night, had 39 points for Portland. The Blazers had won nine in a row at home.

Utah, which trailed most of the first half, took over in the second half and stretched the lead to 89-65 on Jonas Jerebko's 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter.

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