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Celtics rally from down 26 to beat Rockets

BOSTON -- Al Horford made a hook shot with 3.7 seconds left to give Boston its only lead of the game, and the Celtics rallied from a 26-point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets 99-98 on Thursday night.

Kyrie Irving scored 26 and Jayson Tatum finished with 19 for the Celtics, while Marcus Smart drew two offensive fouls against James Harden in the closing seconds to help Boston complete the comeback.

Smart and Terry Rozier had 13 points apiece.

Tatum made a layup with seven seconds left to pull the Celtics within 98-97, then Smart had position on Harden for an offensive foul that gave Boston the ball and a chance to win it. Horford converted from the lane to put Boston up for the first time in a game Houston had led throughout and dominated until midway through the third quarter.

Harden finished with 34 points and 10 assists. Eric Gordon scored 24 points for Houston, which shot 25 percent (9 of 36) in the second half and lost its fourth straight.

The Rockets had one last chance after Horford's go-ahead hook shot, but Harden was called for another offensive foul and time expired after Horford missed his second free throw (see full recap).

Magic beat Pistons to snap 9-game losing streak
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Elfrid Payton had 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists to help the Orlando Magic break a nine-game losing streak with a 102-89 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Thursday night.

Evan Fournier scored 17 points and Aaron Gordon had 14 for Orlando, but it was the Magic's backup centers who made the difference in the game.

Bismack Biyombo had 12 points and 13 rebounds, and Marresse Speights scored 16 points as replacements for injured starter Nikola Vucevic.

Tobias Harris scored 21 points for Detroit, which had won five of six. Andre Drummond had 17 points and 18 rebounds, and Ish Smith contributed 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

The Magic controlled most of the game, but needed a boost from Speights and a strong fourth quarter defensively to win it.

The backup center scored Orlando's last nine points of the third period to give the home team a 77-71 lead. His 3-pointer on the first possession of the final quarter started a 9-0 run that put the Magic ahead 86-73 with 9:47 left in the game (see full recap).

Bucks rally from 20 down to beat Timberwolves
MILWAUKEE -- Eric Bledsoe scored 26 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo added 22 to help the Milwaukee Bucks rally from a 20-point deficit and beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 102-96 on Thursday night.

Bledsoe had six points and made two key assists down the stretch and the Bucks found their missing defense, holding the Timberwolves to a season-low 12 points in the fourth quarter. Minnesota went cold over the last 4:21 and had its five-game winning streak snapped.

Bledsoe took a pass from Antetokounmpo and made an open 3-pointer from the corner to give the Bucks their first lead of the game at 95-93 with 2:25 to go. Bledsoe followed with a three-point play and then found Antetokounmpo under the basket for an easy two points, pushing the lead to 100-93 with 1:04 left.

Minnesota perhaps wore down a night after a 128-125 overtime victory over Denver and had a four-game road winning streak snapped.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 22 points for Minnesota and Andrew Wiggins added 21 (see full recap).