Miami defeat San Antonio in first match-up since Finals last year.
There were eight games on the NBA schedule on Sunday night, and while the Miami Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs, there was a big night in Boston as some familiar faces returned to the TD Garden.
Both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were given pre-game standing ovations as they returned to Boston for the first time since their summer switch to the Nets, and both revealed that they faced an emotional battle throughout.
“I had lumps in my throat and I tried to focus as much as I could,” Pierce said, according to ESPN. “I’m happy we got it over with and I can go back to playing basketball.”
Pierce is the second leading scorer in Celtics history while Garnett was a pivotal part of the championship winning team back in 2008, and both are fondly remembered by Celtics fans despite their departure.
Having handled their emotions, they were able to contribute to an 85-79 win, with Andray Blatche coming off the bench to put up 17 points and four rebounds.
The Nets have now won 10 of their last 11 games, while in contrast the Celtics have now lost 17 of their last 20, but perhaps on the night it was more memorable for the crowd and franchise to show their appreciation to their former stars.
Elsewhere, the Miami Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs in their first meeting since the NBA Finals last year, with the hosts coming out on top with 24 points from Chris Bosh.
Dwyane Wade returned to action to give the defending champions a boost, while the Spurs were without Kawhi Leonard, Thiago Splitter and Danny Green as coach Gregg Popovich continues to battle with injuries.
LeBron James added 18 points while Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 23 points as Boris Diaw (15) and Marco Belinelli (12) failed to secure a road win as they slipped to 33-11 for the season while Miami move to 32-12.
The troubles continue for San Antonio, who have consistently had issues against the elite teams in the NBA in the regular season thus far, and Popovich has previously addressed his concern with the situation.
Meanwhile, Carmelo Anthony kept his scoring streak going with 35 points in the New York Knicks’ win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Following on from his record night at the Garden where he went for 62 points, Anthony was also well supported by Raymond Felton who had a season-high 20 points, while Tyson Chandler had 13 points and 14 rebounds.
The Knicks (17-27) won their second straight game after losing five in a row and will hope to continue to build on their current form, while the Lakers slip to 16-29 after going 2-5 on their long road trip.
In the other highlight game of the night, the Golden State Warriors sealed a significant win over the Portland Trail Blazers with Stephen Curry scoring 38 points and adding seven rebounds and eight assists in their 103-88 win.
San Antonio Spurs 101-113 Miami Heat
Los Angeles Lakers 103-110 New York Knicks
Orlando Magic 92-100 New Orleans Pelicans
Phoenix Suns 99-90 Cleveland Cavaliers
Brooklyn Nets 95-79 Boston Celtics
Detroit Pistons 106-116 Dallas Mavericks
Portland Trail Blazers 88-103 Golden State Warriors
Denver Nuggets 125-117 Sacramento Kings