WASHINGTON - Rajon Rondo's driving dunk with a minute remaining broke a tie and led the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics to their ninth straight victory, 104-102, over the Washington Wizards last night.

Rondo had 21 points and 11 assists, and Ray Allen had 18 and became the 32d NBA player to score 20,000 points. Kevin Garnett had 17 points, and Kendrick Perkins added 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Gilbert Arenas led Washington with 25 points, but missed a pair of free throws with 26.7 seconds to play. Arenas missed five of his six free throws.

After Paul Pierce hit one of two free throws to make it 101-98, Arenas hit a layup with 17 seconds to make it 101-100. Allen hit two free throws with 14.6 left for a 103-100 lead. Arenas and Randy Foye missed three-point attempts in the final seconds.

The Celtics are 18-4 and have won 10 of their 11 road games. With the victory, they broke a tie with Orlando for the best record in the Eastern Conference.

The Wizards, who have lost three straight, hit their first four shots of the game, and made 10 of their first 15 to take a 26-19 lead with 3:43 to play in the first quarter. Washington missed its last seven shots of the quarter as the Celtics started a 21-6 run to take a 40-32 lead with 8:17 to play in the second quarter.

Allen reached the 20,000-points milestone in the third quarter, hitting a three-pointer with 4:44 remaining.

Boston 27 37 19 21 – 104

Washington 28 22 24 28 – 102

   FG   FT   Reb   

BOSTON Min   M-A   M-A   O-T   A   PF   Pts   

Pierce 32:46   2-8   6-10   0-5   2   4   12

Garnett 33:22   8-14   1-2   0-5   2   2   17

Perkins 31:13   5-7   6-11   3-11   0   3   16

Rondo 37:36   10-20   1-1   1-3   11   3   21

RAllen 39:01   5-11   6-6   2-7   2   2   18

House 17:13   2-5   0-0   0-0   0   1   4

Wallace 18:31   0-2   4-4   1-5   0   2   4

TAllen 17:24   4-5   0-1   2-3   0   3   8

Williams 12:54   1-3   2-2   1-1   3   1   4

Totals 240:00   37-75   26-37   10-40   20   21   104

Percentages: FG .493, FT .703. 3-Point Goals: 4-12, .333 (Pierce 2-5, R.Allen 2-6, Wallace 0-1). Team Rebounds: 9. Team Turnovers: 14 (16 Pts). Blocked Shots: 5 (Perkins 2, Garnett, Rondo, Wallace). Turnovers: 14 (R.Allen 3, T.Allen 3, Perkins 3, Garnett 2, House 2, Rondo). Steals: 6 (T.Allen 2, Garnett 2, Pierce 2). Technical Fouls: Defensive three second, 7:43 first.

   FG   FT   Reb   

WASH'GTON Min   M-A   M-A   O-T   A   PF   Pts   

Butler 41:25   3-10   4-5   2-8   5   4   10

Jamison 35:32   7-14   0-1   2-8   0   3   16

Haywood 35:21   7-7   3-4   1-8   0   3   17

Arenas 41:33   11-23   1-6   1-3   8   4   25

Young 11:57   1-5   2-2   0-1   1   2   4

Blatche 26:22   7-10   2-2   1-3   3   4   17

Foye 13:46   3-10   0-0   1-3   0   2   6

Boykins 12:49   1-2   0-0   0-0   3   0   2

Oberto 1:59   0-0   0-0   0-0   1   3   0

McGee 3:21   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   1   0

Stevenson 15:56   1-4   2-2   0-0   0   3   5

Totals 240:01   41-85   14-22   8-34   21   29   102

Percentages: FG .482, FT .636. 3-Point Goals: 6-18, .333 (Jamison 2-5, Arenas 2-6, Blatche 1-2, Stevenson 1-3, Foye 0-1, Young 0-1). Team Rebounds: 18. Team Turnovers: 14 (15 Pts). Blocked Shots: 3 (Butler, Haywood, Stevenson). Turnovers: 13 (Arenas 4, Haywood 4, Blatche, Butler, Foye, Jamison, McGee). Steals: 8 (Blatche 5, Haywood, Jamison, Young). Technical Fouls: None. Flagrant Fouls: Stevenson, 3:01 third. A: 20,173 (20,173). T: 2:41. Officials: Eric Lewis, Dan Crawford, Courtney Kirkland.

Pistons 101, Nuggets 99

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Charlie Villanueva scored 27 points and Rodney Stuckey added 26 to help banged-up Detroit hold on for the win over Denver.

Carmelo Anthony scored 40 points for Denver, Chauncey Billups had 21 and reserve J.R. Smith added 14.

Denver 24 26 23 26 – 99

Detroit 23 29 28 21 – 101

   FG   FT   Reb   

DENVER Min   M-A   M-A   O-T   A   PF   Pts   

Anthony 42:51   16-28   6-7   3-6   2   2   40

Graham 17:47   2-3   0-0   0-0   0   4   4

Nene 37:05   2-5   4-5   1-11   3   3   8

Billups 35:05   6-16   8-8   0-1   2   1   21

Afflalo 16:37   1-3   0-0   0-1   1   4   3

Smith 29:37   5-16   2-2   1-7   1   2   14

Andersen 34:35   2-4   5-9   3-6   1   5   9

Lawson 15:28   0-1   0-0   1-3   4   3   0

Petro 10:55   0-0   0-0   1-2   0   3   0

Totals 240:00   34-76   25-31   10-37   14   27   99

Percentages: FG .447, FT .806. 3-Point Goals: 6-15, .400 (Anthony 2-3, Smith 2-5, Afflalo 1-2, Billups 1-4, Lawson 0-1). Team Rebounds: 8. Team Turnovers: 15 (24 Pts). Blocked Shots: 3 (Andersen 2, Anthony). Turnovers: 15 (Billups 3, Nene 3, Lawson 3, Andersen 2, Anthony 2, Graham, Petro). Steals: 7 (Smith 2, Anthony, Billups, Graham, Nene, Lawson). Technical Fouls: None.

   FG   FT   Reb   

DETROIT Min   M-A   M-A   O-T   A   PF   Pts   

Jerebko 34:08   4-12   3-5   4-8   0   5   12

Maxiell 16:58   3-5   2-2   2-4   0   4   8

Wallace 35:15   2-7   3-6   6-16   3   3   7

Atkins 35:11   2-10   4-4   0-2   3   4   9

Stuckey 38:53   7-14   11-15   0-0   3   1   25

Villanueva 34:30   10-19   6-7   0-5   5   4   27

Daye 22:53   3-6   0-0   0-1   1   2   7

Brown 14:31   1-2   1-2   2-5   0   2   3

Summers 7:43   1-1   0-0   1-2   1   2   3

Totals 240:02   33-76   30-41   15-43   16   27   101

Percentages: FG .434, FT .732. 3-Point Goals: 5-14, .357 (Summers 1-1, Daye 1-2, Atkins 1-3, Villanueva 1-3, Jerebko 1-4, Stuckey 0-1). Team Rebounds: 14. Team Turnovers: 12 (16 Pts). Blocked Shots: 4 (Daye, Summers, Villanueva, Wallace). Turnovers: 11 (Stuckey 5, Jerebko 2, Brown, Maxiell, Summers, Villanueva). Steals: 10 (Wallace 3, Atkins 2, Stuckey 2, Jerebko, Maxiell, Summers). Technical Fouls: None.

A: 17,176 (22,076). T: 2:33. Officials: Tom Washington, Pat Fraher, JT Orr.