TORONTO (AP) — Atlanta’s Joe Johnson needed just three quarters to match his season high with 30 points as the Hawks recorded their sixth straight win over the Toronto Raptors with a commanding 100-77 victory in Tuesday’s NBA action.
Johnson matched his average of 30 points in each of his past four games against Toronto, while Tracy McGrady added 15 for the Hawks.
Jerryd Bayless scored 14 points for the Raptors, who lost their third in a row at home game. Toronto has done better on the road this season than at home, where it has a 2-6 record.
PACERS 106, NETS 99
In Indianapolis, Paul George scored a career-high 24 points to lead Indiana past New Jersey.
Danny Granger had 21 points and seven rebounds for the Pacers, who went on a 12-0 run midway through the third quarter and eventually led by as much as 18 in the fourth.
George, who shot 8 of 11 in this one, also scored 21 points against the Nets on Jan. 2.
Deron Williams scored 34 points for the Nets, who have lost nine straight against the Pacers. New Jersey turned the ball over three times and missed three shots in Indiana’s big run and shot just 40 percent overall in the third.
CELTICS 93, CAVALIERS 90
In Cleveland, Paul Pierce scored 20 points as Boston avenged a disappointing loss to Cleveland two days earlier by barely holding off the struggling Cavaliers.
Ray Allen had 12 in the third quarter for the Celtics, who blew an 11-point lead at home Sunday in the final four minutes, saw a 22-point lead late in the third quarter evaporate but this time they held on.
The Cavs rallied behind rookie Kyrie Irving — who finished with 21 points — and got within two with 1:18 left.
KNICKS 113, PISTONS 86
In New York, Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points in his return to the lineup as New York ended a three-game losing skid by comfortably beating Detroit.
Landry Fields added 16 of his 18 in a flawless first half for the Knicks, whose slumbering offense awoke and shot 60 percent from the field — amazingly the first time they bettered 50 percent all season — and fell just a point short of matching their highest score.
Anthony had missed two games because of injuries to his ankle, wrist and thumb.
Jonas Jerebko scored 15 points for the Pistons, who lost their sixth straight.