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Jeremy Lin added 16 points and nine assists for the Rockets. James Harden scored 16 and Chandler Parsons added 14 after missing three games with a knee injury.
Avery Bradley had 24 points for the Celtics, on their longest losing streak since dropping a franchise-record 18 straight games in 2007.
Jerryd Bayless scored 15 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter for Boston, which rallied but got no closer than seven. The Celtics sent Howard to the foul line 14 times in the fourth quarter, and the big man made six. He was 10 of 18 in all.
RAPTORS 116, BUCKS 94
TORONTO • Kyle Lowry scored 23 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Toronto handed struggling Milwaukee its sixth straight loss.
DeMar DeRozan added 19 points and Patrick Patterson 18 as Toronto won for the eighth time in nine games. The Atlantic Division leaders snapped a five-game home slide against the Bucks, beating them in Toronto for the first time since Jan. 22, 2010.
The Raptors won their second straight over Milwaukee after losing the previous 10 meetings.
The victory gave Toronto a five-game home winning streak. At 19-17, the Raptors are two games above .500 for the first time since March 9, 2010, when they were 32-30.
Ersan Ilyasova scored a season-high 29 points for the Bucks, winless since beating the Lakers in Los Angeles on New Year’s Eve. The NBA’s worst team at 7-30, Milwaukee has lost 14 of 16 overall.
MAVERICKS 107, MAGIC 88
DALLAS • Monta Ellis scored 21 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 15 and Dallas extended Orlando’s longest losing streak of the season to eight games.
The Mavericks won their third straight against sub-.500 teams since a blowout loss at San Antonio. Dallas now heads into a three-game stretch against Western Conference playoff contenders starting Wednesday at the Los Angeles Clippers.
Nowitzki did most of his damage in the first half with 10 points, two nights after scoring 20 in the third quarter on his way to a season-high 40 against New Orleans.
Jameer Nelson scored 21 and Glen Davis added 19 points and eight rebounds for the Magic, who got swept on a swing through five Western Conference cities and lost by an average of 20 points.
The Mavericks (23-16) moved seven games over .500 for the first time since the end of the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season.
Vince Carter had 17 points, including consecutive baskets in an 8-0 run that finally put Orlando away in the fourth quarter.
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