NBA: Boston 89, New Orleans 77
A 30-point effort from Paul Pierce Wednesday gave Boston an 89-77 win over New Orleans and spoiled the return of star guard Chris Paul.
The Celtics produced an eight-point run in the fourth quarter to break open a close game and hand the Hornets their sixth loss in eight outings.
Kevin Garnett added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who lost Ray Allen during the game with a sprained thumb. X-rays were negative.
Paul, who had been averaging 21.5 points a game for the Hornets, had missed four straight contests with a groin injury. He scored 13 points in his return Wednesday. David West led New Orleans with 15 points.
The teams combined to take 25 shots from 3-point range and they hit only four of them.