Boston 111, Seattle 82

BOSTON, March 12 (AP) - With their longest winning streak in nearly 22 years, the Boston Celtics' confidence continues to grow as they eye their toughest road trip of the season.

Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen each scored 18 points to lift the Celtics to their season-high 10th straight victory, 111-82 over the Seattle SuperSonics on Wednesday night.

"We are talking more than ever and we feel connected,'' Garnett said. "Any team can beat you in this league, but confidence-wise we are strong 1 to 12 and that is a rarity.''

The Celtics, who have their longest win streak since a 14-game run from March 11-April 4, 1986, host Utah on Friday before embarking on a five-game road trip including games at Dallas, San Antonio, Houston and New Orleans.

Paul Pierce added 14 points and 11 assists for Boston, which improved to 12-0 at home against the Western Conference.

"We are playing well on both ends,'' Pierce said. "We like to share the ball and its contagious and are riding the wave at just the right time.''

Kevin Durant scored 16 points for Seattle, which dropped its sixth straight and has lost 10 of 11.

"They went on a run and it was quick,'' Durant said. "It got us off our guard.''

The Sonics had no answers on defense as the Celtics operated effortlessly and had 31 assists on 45 field goals. Boston's average margin of victory in the last five games is 21 points.

Seattle has allowed 112 points per game during its losing streak.

"They're getting ready for the playoffs and everybody knows that,'' Sonics forward Donyell Marshall said. "We know we're going home, but we have to learn from this.''

Garnett scored nine of Boston's first 13 points in the second half as the Celtics increased the lead to 77-48 with 7:48 remaining in the third quarter.

Pierce scored all 14 of his points in the first quarter to help Boston take a 34-24 lead. The Celtics extended the lead to 64-44 at the half thanks to 27 points from their reserves, led by Eddie House with nine.

Earl Watson's leaner gave Seattle its final lead of the night at 19-17 before Boston responded with a 23-6 run to break the game open early in the second quarter.

Johan Petro had 12 points and 10 rebounds while Watson chipped in with 11 points and seven assists for Seattle, which shot 38 percent from the field.

Allen continued his strong shooting as he has converted 27 of his last 35 shots, including 11-of-16 from beyond the arc over a three-game span.

"I could see they were searching with all the lineup changes,'' Allen said. "We've all been there on the other side.''

Notes: Sam Cassell played his first home game for the Celtics. ... Garnett passed former Sonics star Tom Chambers to move into 31st on the all-time scoring list with 20,054 points. ... Seattle finished its seven-game road trip with a 1-6 record after winning the first game in Minnesota. ... Boston has won 11 straight home games. ... Sonics C Francisco Elson left the game in the third quarter with an apparent leg injury.

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