The Boston Celtics edged the Detroit Pistons 115-113 in an exciting double overtime match-up between two National Basketball Association division leaders.
Boston's Paul Pierce hit the game-winning jump shot with just 23 seconds left in the second five-minute extra session to lift the Atlantic Division-leading Celtics to victory. Pierce had 38 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Celtics to their sixth win in seven games.
The loss by NBA defending champion Detroit was its fourth straight on the road, although the Pistons still lead the Central Division.
In another close contest, Dallas star forward Dirk Nowitzki scored 29 points and grabbed nine boards as the visiting Mavericks barely slipped past the Milwaukee Bucks 112-110.
Houston star Tracy McGrady scored 38 points as his Rockets blasted the Phoenix Suns 127-107. Teammate Yao Ming of China netted 27 points and grabbed a career-high 22 rebounds to help Houston hand the Suns their biggest home defeat this season. Despite the loss, Phoenix has the second best record in the NBA with 47 wins against only 15 losses. The idle San Antonio Spurs are 47-14.
The lowly Atlanta Hawks enjoyed a rare victory, snapping a 23-game road losing streak with a 116-112 overtime triumph over the Toronto Raptors. Atlanta has the worst record in the NBA with only 11 wins and 50 losses.
Other NBA winners Friday were the Pacers, Timberwolves, 76ers, Grizzlies, Kings and Bulls.
The Indiana Pacers trounced the Golden State Warriors 101-83, the Minnesota Timberwolves topped the Orlando Magic 101-96, and the Philadelphia 76ers crushed the Charlotte Bobcats 112-80. The Memphis Grizzlies knocked off the Utah Jazz 94-82, the Sacramento Kings edged the Los Angeles Clippers 113-112, and the Chicago Bulls topped the Seattle SuperSonics 100-97.