Nets snap losing streak with win over Wizards

Devin Harris had 29 points and nine assists, and Brook Lopez added 18 points to lead the New Jersey Nets past the visiting Washington Wizards, 97-89, Thursday night to snap an eight-game losing streak.

The loss was the 13th straight on the road this season for the Wizards (6-18), who played without top overall draft pick John Wall and forward Andray Blatche, both of whom sat out with knee problems.

The Nets, who led by 23 points in the second quarter, got 12 points and 17 rebounds from Kris Humphries, the fourth straight game he collected 10 or more boards.

Elsewhere: Kevin Garnett had 17 points and 13 rebounds - one of three Boston players with a double-double - to lead the Celtics to their 12th straight win, 102-90, over the visiting Atlanta Hawks. Paul Pierce had 15 points and 10 assists and Glen "Big Baby" Davis had 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Magic working, practicing, hoping to end skid

At the end of a grueling 21/2-hour practice, Dwight Howard gathered his Orlando Magic teammates to deliver a rare pep talk complete with strong words.

"I don't get impressed if we come out and practice hard," he said, recalling the talk. "That's easy. We've been a hardworking team every day in practice, but us as a team, we have to be able to go out and play hard in the game."

Even the Magic aren't impressed with themselves lately. They returned home losers of five of their last six games and their first-place cushion erased.

Yao has a stress fracture, his return uncertain

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, who has been out since Nov. 10, has a stress fracture in his left ankle, an MRI showed. The team said there is no timetable for his return.

MSG fans will bow no more to the King

New York Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni saw the way LeBron James tore apart the Cavaliers when faced with a hostile crowd in Cleveland and figures hate is wrong. "I'm going to be nice, don't worry," he said.

Miami's visit to New York on Friday is not only another huge game for the Knicks but a chance to show they're OK with his decision not to play in New York.

The fans at Madison Square Garden, however, probably won't let the coach's attitude stop them from telling James just how they feel about his bypassing their beloved Knicks. - Wire reports