NBA Wrap: Celtics rout Lakers for sixth straight

NBA Wrap: Celtics rout Lakers for sixth straight
February 8, 2013, 12:30 am
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The Sixers have certainly dealt with their fair share of injuries this season -- but to Doug Collins, that's no excuse for the team's struggles in the first half (see story).

And while the overall team has had a tough going in the first half, Jrue Holiday has not. On Thursday night, he was selected by the NBA to participate in the All-Star Skills Challenge (see story).

Now, here's a look at what happened around the NBA on Thursday:

Celtics coast past Lakers
BOSTON -- Paul Pierce scored 24 points and led a third-quarter surge as the Boston Celtics routed the Los Angeles Lakers 116-95 on Thursday night, improving to 6-0 since losing point guard Rajon Rondo for the season with a torn knee ligament.

The Lakers had cut a 58-44 halftime deficit to 72-61 with 5:07 left in the third quarter. Then the Celtics went on a 23-8 run and led 95-69 going into the fourth. Pierce started the surge with a three-point play and ended it with a 3-pointer with 41 seconds left, giving him 12 points in the period.

Kobe Bryant scored 27 to lead the Lakers, who suffered their worst loss of the season despite the return of Dwight Howard after he missed three games with a sore right shoulder.

The win was Boston's biggest of the season (see full recap).

Nuggets throttle Bulls
DENVER -- Kenneth Faried celebrated his invitation to the league's annual slam dunk contest with a series of rim-rattling, crowd-pleasing jams Thursday night when the Denver Nuggets extended their winning streak to eight games with a 128-96 win over the Chicago Bulls.

Faried finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds in 26 minutes as the Nuggets won for the 15th time in 18 games since Jan. 1.

Wilson Chandler added 24 points in just 19 minutes as the Nuggets made quick work of a stingy Bulls team that came in yielding just 91 points a game but watched Denver pour in 100 by the time the third quarter was over.

JaVale McGee put on his own slam-and-jam show, adding 10 points for the Nuggets, who haven't lost since Jan. 18 and led this one by as many as 35 points (see full recap).

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