The Boston Celtics showed they can still keep the ball moving even without NBA assist leader Rajon Rondo in the lineup, getting a triple-double from Paul Pierce while holding off the visiting Indiana Pacers, 99-88, yesterday to extend their winning streak to 13.
Pierce had 12 assists and Ray Allen added six more as the Celtics played their second straight game without Rondo, who is out with a sprained left ankle.
"That's the point we make with this team. When the ball moves, there's assists," coach Doc Rivers said. "Guys are going to get assists and they're getting that."
Pierce added 18 points and 10 rebounds. It was the sixth regular-season triple-double of his career and seventh overall. He last accomplished the feat March 8, 2006, against the 76ers.
"I pride myself in trying to be a complete player," Pierce said. "Throughout the course of my career I've worked on a lot of things on both sides of the ball."
Nate Robinson started for Rondo and scored 18 points. Allen finished with 17 and Shaquille O'Neal, who had missed four games with a sore right calf, returned with 11 points. The only Boston starter not in double figures was Kevin Garnett, and he had nine points and nine rebounds.
Danny Granger led Indiana with 19 points, and Roy Hibbert had 17 points and 14 rebounds.
In other games:
* At Toronto, Kobe Bryant scored 20 points, Pau Gasol had 19 and the Los Angeles Lakers won their fifth straight game, beating the Raptors, 120-110. Andrew Bynum had 16 points and Shannon Brown 14 for the Lakers, who finished a seven-game road trip at 6-1. Toronto's Linas Kleiza matched his season high with 26 points and had 10 rebounds. DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points and Jose Calderon had 20 points and 12 assists.
* At Auburn Hills, Mich., Will Bynum's driving layup with 7.4 seconds left in overtime helped the Detroit Pistons to a 111-108 victory over the New Orleans Hornets. Bynum, filling in for the injured Rodney Stuckey, finished with 21 points and nine assists. Tayshaun Prince scored 28 points and Ben Gordon added 25 for the Pistons, while David West scored 32 for the Hornets, and Chris Paul added 23 with 10 assists.
* At Oklahoma City, Grant Hill scored a season-high 30 points and had 11 rebounds, Steve Nash added 20 points and 10 assists and the shorthanded Phoenix Suns snapped Oklahoma City's five-game winning streak by beating the Thunder, 113-110. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 28 points, and Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green scored 19 apiece.
* At Newark, N.J., Devin Harris had 22 points and eight assists, and Brook Lopez added 16 points to lead the New Jersey Nets to an 89-82 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. Mike Bibby scored 19 points for the Hawks.
* At Sacramento, Kevin Martin scored 22 points as the Houston Rockets beat the Kings, 102-93. Houston has won four of five games since learning that Yao Ming would miss the rest of the season.