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NBA: Boston 106, Denver 98

Dec. 6, 2013 at 10:51 PM

BOSTON, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Jordan Crawford keyed a huge Boston first period Friday and the Celtics fought off a late comeback to defeat Denver 106-98.

Crawford made 9-of-13 shots from the field and scored 22 points as part of the fifth Boston win in seven games.

The Celtics owned a 39-15 lead after one period and their lead grew to as many as 27 points in the first half.

Denver fought back to within 74-71 late in the third quarter, but came no closer after Boston put together a 9-2 run.

Avery Bradley and Kris Humphries both had 18 points for the Celtics, who shot 51 percent from the field.

Ty Lawson led Denver with 20 points, but left late in the contest with a strained left hamstring. The Nuggets have lost two straight after winning seven in a row.

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