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Celtics beat Jazz, pull even with 76ers

Boston’s Paul Pierce, right, drives against Utah’s C.J. Miles during second-half action of a Celtics victory on Wednesday. (Associated Press)
Boston’s Paul Pierce, right, drives against Utah’s C.J. Miles during second-half action of a Celtics victory on Wednesday. (Associated Press)

NBA: Kevin Garnett scored 23 points and added 10 rebounds, and Rajon Rondo had 14 assists to lead the Boston Celtics to a 94-82 victory over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night in Boston.

The Celtics (28-22) moved into a tie with the Philadelphia 76ers atop the Atlantic Division.

Former Celtic Al Jefferson had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Jazz, scoring 10 in a 17-3 third-quarter run that turned an 18-point deficit into a two-possession game. The Jazz tied it early in the fourth before Boston scored the next seven points – with Garnett contributing on all of them – to pull away.

• Bulls wing Hawks: Luol Deng scored 22 points and led a flurry of 3-pointers as the Chicago Bulls won another game on the road, blowing out the Atlanta Hawks 98-77.

Deng was 5 of 8 from beyond the arc and the Bulls finished 9 of 16 overall to improve their NBA-best record away from home to 21-6.

• Knicks rout Magic: Carmelo Anthony and Iman Shumpert each scored 25 and the New York Knicks climbed above .500 for the first time since mid-January, scoring 21 straight points in the third quarter and routing the Orlando Magic 108-86 in New York.

Earlier the Knicks learned injured Amare Stoudemire could return for the playoffs.

• Love dominates Bobcats: Kevin Love had 40 points and 19 rebounds to lift the Minnesota Timberwolves past the Charlotte Bobcats, 88-83 in Charlotte, N.C.

Love entered the game averaging 30.6 points in March. He has scored at least 20 points in 14 of 15 games and has nine straight double-doubles.

• Six straight wins for Spurs: Manu Ginobili scored 20 points, Kawhi Leonard had 19 and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Sacramento Kings 117-112 in Sacramento, Calif., for their sixth straight victory.

Rookie Isaiah Thomas scored a career-high 28 points and had 10 assists for Sacramento.

Rangers complete season sweep of Jets

NHL: Ryan Callahan and Michael Del Zotto each had a goal and an assist, and the New York Rangers moved to the top of the NHL standings with a 4-2 victory over the host Winnipeg Jets.

New York is tied with Western Conference-leading St. Louis with 105 points, but the Rangers have the edge because of one more non-shootout win.

• York earns first win: Allen York stopped 29 shots and earned his first NHL victory in an emergency start, and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 at Columbus, Ohio.

• Kings put out Flames: Jonathan Quick stopped 19 shots and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Calgary Flames 3-0 in Calgary, Alberta, to move into the eighth place in the Western Conference.

Quick recorded his ninth shutout of the season to break the club record, set by Rogatien Vachon in 1976-77.

The Kings earned their 10th shutout, tying the club record set in 2000-01.

• Schneider impressive: Cory Schneider stopped all 43 shots he faced in goal and made a first-period score by Chris Higgins stand up as the Vancouver Canucks eked out a 1-0 win over the visiting Colorado Avalanche.

• Ducks nip Sharks: Teemu Selanne scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period, Jonas Hiller made 28 saves, and the Anaheim Ducks knocked San Jose out of first place in the Pacific Division with a 3-1 victory over the Sharks in Anaheim, Calif.

Smith leads Mercer to CIT championship

Basketball: Travis Smith came off the bench to score 17 points, including a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 90 seconds left, and the Mercer Bears (27-11) held on for a 70-67 victory over the Utah State Aggies (21-16) in the championship game of the Tournament in Logan, Utah.

• Cowgirls oust Toreros: Toni Young scored a season-high 27 points, Liz Donohoe added 20 points and 11 rebounds and the Oklahoma State Cowgirls (21-12) advanced to the finals of the Women’s NIT with a 73-57 victory over the San Diego Toreros (26-9) in Stillwater, Okla.

OSU will play James Madison, which advanced to the title game by beating Syracuse 74-71.

• Muhammad sparks West boys: Undecided Shabazz Muhammad scored 21 points, Duke recruit Rasheed Sulaimon added 18 and the West beat the East 106-102 in the McDonald’s All-American boys game in Chicago.

Kentucky recruit Alex Poythress led the East with 19 points.

• East girls edge West: Bashaara Graves made a winning free throw with less than a second left and the East girls beat the West 79-78 in the McDonald’s All-American game in Chicago.

Baylor recruit Alexis Prince had 15 points for the East to earn the MVP award.

Top-ranked Azarenka drops first match

Miscellany: Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka lost for the first time this year when she was beaten by Marion Bartoli 6-3, 6-3 in the quarterfinals at the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Fla. Azarenka had won 26 consecutive matches.

• Shiffrin defends slalom title: Mikaela Shiffrin turned in two smooth runs to defend her slalom title at the U.S. champ- ionships in Winter Park, Colo.

Shiffrin finished in a total time of 1 minute, 39.57 seconds.

• Virtue-Moir take lead: Ice dance Olympic champs Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada took the lead after the short dance program at the figure skating world champ- ionships in Nice, France, relegating American defending champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White to second place.


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