Jeff Green scored 13 of his 19 points in the second quarter, and the Boston Celtics coasted to a 92-80 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night and moved back into a first-place tie in the Eastern Conference.
The victory left the Celtics and Chicago Bulls (48-18) with the same record in the race for home-court advantage through the conference finals. Boston had lost three of four to fall out of first place.
Josh McRoberts had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Indiana. Tyler Hansbrough, who had back-to-back career highs in a pair of victories against the New York Knicks this week, was 4-for-14, scoring 10 and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Paul Pierce scored 20 for Boston and Rajon Rondo had eight assists but struggled from the floor for the second straight game. The Celtics point guard was 1-for-10 in a loss to New Jersey on Monday, and he was 0-for-2 and scoreless against Indiana.
Never miss a local story.
Hornets 100, Suns 95: Chris Paul had 26 points and nine assists, and host New Orleans extended the Suns' losing streak to four games.
Emeka Okafor had 16 points and 11 rebounds for New Orleans. David West added 16 points, including an 18-foot jumper to give the Hornets a 95-88 lead with 29.5 seconds to go.
The Hornets led by as much as 19 in the third quarter but had to hold on against a Suns squad that made 14 three-pointers.
Pistons 107, Raptors 93: Richard Hamilton scored 24 points, Greg Monroe added 21 points and 10 rebounds, and host Detroit ended a three-game losing streak.
Toronto scored the game's first basket, but never led again.
Tayshaun Prince added 22 points for the Pistons and Rodney Stuckey, Detroit's leading scorer, had a career-high 14 assists while taking just one shot.
Nuggets 102, Hawks 87: Nene scored 20 points, J.R. Smith added all of his 15 in the fourth quarter, and visiting Denver ran away to another win.
It looked as if the game would go down to the wire when Zaza Pachulia flipped in a putback, pulling the Hawks to 72-69 with just over 10 minutes remaining.
But Denver dominated the rest of the way, outscoring the home team 30-18. The Nuggets hardly missed in the fourth quarter, making 12 of 18 from the field — including four three-pointers.
Smith knocked down three of those, part of a 6-for-7 fourth quarter after he took only three shots — and missed them all — over the first three quarters.
Kings file trademark names for Anaheim
The Sacramento Kings have taken yet another step toward a potential move to Southern California.
A Sacramento attorney representing the team's owners filed for at least four federal trademark registrations this month as they explore a move to Anaheim.
Among the names filed for according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office's Web site were: Anaheim Royals, Anaheim Royals of Southern California, Orange County Royals and Los Angeles Royals. The filing was made by attorney Scott Hervey on behalf of the Crickets Corp., a Nevada-based company.
Hervey has worked for Kings owners Joe and Gavin Maloof in previous sports business dealings, including the Maloof Money Cup skateboarding competition in Orange County. Hervey didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday. Joe Maloof declined to comment about the trademark filing.