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Celtics Beat Knicks for Third Straight NBA Victory

(Corrects spelling of Garnett.)

Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) -- The Boston Celtics, playing without suspended point guard Rajon Rondo, defeated the New York Knicks 102-96 for their season-high third straight victory.

Paul Pierce scored 23 points and Kevin Garnett added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics last night at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Boston evened its record at 17-17 while playing without Rondo, an All-Star who yesterday received a one-game ban from the National Basketball Association for making contact with a referee two days ago.

J.R. Smith led the Knicks with 24 points, while Carmelo Anthony had 20 on 6-of-26 shooting.

New York, which leads the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division with a 23-11 record, was limited to 41 percent shooting and had a two-game winning streak snapped.

Anthony and Garnett were each given technical fouls after a confrontation in the fourth quarter. ESPN reported that the Knicks player got into an altercation with Garnett after the match, and city police officers and security guards were required to break up the incident near the Celtics’ bus.

The Washington Wizards, who have the NBA’s worst record and were without their two top scorers, ended a five-game losing skid by beating Oklahoma City 101-99 on Bradley Beal’s basket with three-tenths of a second left.

The Wizards improved to 5-28, with two of their wins coming against the defending NBA-champion Miami Heat and the Thunder (26-8), who had entered last night’s game with the league’s best record.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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