Al Jefferson was happily watching the final seconds from the Boston bench when Delonte West gave him a piece of advice.
"We've got nothing to celebrate," Jefferson recalled after Boston ended its club-record losing streak at 18 games by beating the visiting Milwaukee Bucks, 117-97. "We should feel good about it. But don't run off the court like we won the championship."
Paul Pierce scored 32 points and Gerald Green had 21 in 20 minutes Wednesday night to lead the Celtics to their first win since Jan. 5 and send them into the All-Star break with a sigh of relief. Next week, Boston goes on a five-game western trip.
"I thought that if we could win this game, it gives us a fighting chance out there. That's all we want," Coach Doc Rivers said.
The Celtics won only two of 24 games when Pierce was out because of foot and elbow injuries, breaking the franchise record of 13 straight losses and heading for the league record of 24 (23 in one season).
But they took advantage of Milwaukee's problems, rallying from a 15-point deficit to go ahead in the second quarter and opening a double-digit lead in the third against a team playing on back-to-back nights.
Mo Williams scored 31 points for Milwaukee, which lost its fourth in a row and fell to 3-17 without Michael Redd (knee).
San Antonio 90, Detroit 81 -- Tim Duncan scored 23 points and Francisco Elson had a career-high 18 rebounds as the Spurs finished their annual "rodeo trip" at 4-4 while ending the Pistons' seven-game winning streak. Richard Hamilton had 20 points for Detroit.
Utah 99, Cleveland 98 -- Deron Williams had a career-high 33 points and 12 assists to lead the host Jazz to their sixth straight victory. The Jazz held LeBron James (23 points) to four points in the fourth quarter and rallied from a 12-point deficit. Larry Hughes led Cleveland with 33 points.
Seattle 114, Phoenix 90 -- Playing again without Steve Nash (shoulder) and Boris Diaw (back), the Suns suffered their worst loss of the season at Seattle. Ray Allen scored 31 points for Seattle. Amare Stoudemire had 19 points for Phoenix.
Toronto 120, New Jersey 109 -- Chris Bosh had 25 points to help the Raptors to their eighth straight victory at home. Vince Carter, a former Raptor booed throughout, had 17 points.
Indiana 114, Memphis 104 -- Danny Granger, hospitalized with a neck injury after falling Monday against the Clippers, had 21 points for the host Pacers. Rookie Rudy Gay had a career-high 31 points for Memphis.
New Orleans 110, Sacramento 93 -- The Hornets blew away the Kings with a 27-7 third-quarter run at Oklahoma City. Desmond Mason had 18 points for New Orleans. Ron Artest scored 18 points for the Kings.
Minnesota 99, Denver 94 -- Mark Blount scored 24 points, including eight in a row in the final 2:30, to lift the Timberwolves at Minneapolis. Carmelo Anthony had 28 points and Steve Blake added a career-high 18 assists for Denver.
Orlando 103, Portland 91 -- Hedo Turkoglu scored 24 points and Dwight Howard added 20 points and 16 rebounds at home for the Magic, which used an 18-4 second-quarter run to stay above .500 (27-26) heading into the All-Star break. Portland's Zach Randolph had 28 points.
Golden State 120, New York 101 -- Stephen Jackson scored 21 of his season high-tying 36 points in a first half in which the host Warriors led by 26. Nate Robinson had 23 points for New York.
Charlotte 100, Chicago 85 -- Gerald Wallace scored 32 points and Emeka Okafor added 15 points and 21 rebounds to help the host Bobcats end a four-game losing streak. Ben Gordon scored 20 points for the Bulls, losers of six of their last nine.
Washington 92, Philadelphia 85 -- Gilbert Arenas struggled again, scoring 22 points on eight-of-26 shooting but the visiting Wizards prevailed at Philadelphia, thanks to a 12-2 fourth-quarter run. Kyle Korver had 18 points for the 76ers.