|Dwyane Wade back, but can't save Heat; Spurs beat Clippers in Ginobili's return|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 07 January 2008 01:24|
He couldn't even make one.
That's how bad things are going for the 2006 NBA champions, who are losing confidence as quickly as they are games. The Heat dropped their seventh in a row Sunday with a 101-94 loss to the Grizzlies.
``I don't know if it's a mental thing, if it's in our heads, or we don't believe,'' forward Udonis Haslem said. ``But, for whatever reason, we just can't get it done.''
The defending champion Spurs felt much better after their 88-82 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers. Manu Ginobili returned for San Antonio after missing five games because of a sprained left index finger and scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter.
The Spurs were only 3-2 without their super sub.
``He's our finisher. He's our attacker and he just adds another dimension to our team, especially down the stretch,'' Tim Duncan said. ``When plays don't work or things aren't working exactly right, someone like that can break down a defense.
``He's a great guy to make things happen and find open shots for people. And we missed that the last few games.''
In other games, it was: Cleveland 93, Toronto 90; Washington 108, Seattle 86; Dallas 101, Minnesota 78; Milwaukee 93, Charlotte 89; Denver 109, Philadelphia 96; and the Los Angeles Lakers 112, Indiana 96.
Duncan had 17 points and 17 rebounds and Tony Parker scored 26 points to lead the Spurs, who started 17-3 but are only 6-6 since while dealing with injuries to their three stars. Ginobili played with his hand wrapped to protect his injury.
``I was feeling good all game long,'' Ginobili said. ``I just didn't make the shots that I usually make, but I just stayed patient and let it come to me.''
Wade also was returning after missing a game because of a variety of injuries. He finished with 18 points and nine assists, but was 7-of-20 from the field. His two missed free throws came with Memphis leading 94-92 with 1:04 remaining.
``When I missed those two free throws, it kind of took the air out of us as a team for the next couple of possessions,'' Wade said. ``It was like we did everything wrong that we could do.''
Pau Gasol had 28 points and 13 rebounds, Mike Miller added 25 points to go with six assists, and Rudy Gay scored 22 points for Memphis. The Heat were still without Shaquille O'Neal, though Jason Williams joined Wade in returning.
Nuggets 109, 76ers 96
At Denver, Allen Iverson scored 38 points against his former team.
Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points, including 19 in the first half to help Denver build a 53-43 halftime lead. Marcus Camby had 11 points and 12 boards.
Andre Miller, one of the players the Nuggets sent to the Sixers in exchange for Iverson, led Philadelphia with 22 points, and Samuel Dalembert pulled down 15 rebounds for Philadelphia.
Cavaliers 93, Raptors 90
At Toronto, LeBron James scored 39 points, including 24 in the fourth quarter.
The Cavaliers have won five of six to level their record at 17-17, returning to .500 for the first time since they were 9-9 on Dec. 2.
Chris Bosh led Toronto with 23 points, Anthony Parker had 20 and Calderon had 16 points and 11 assists.
Lakers 112, Pacers 96
At Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant scored 12 of his 26 points in the third quarter, Andrew Bynum had 23 points and 13 rebounds, and Los Angeles beat Indiana for its 12th win in 15 games.
Derek Fisher scored 22 points, Lamar Odom had 13 points and 13 rebounds, and Luke Walton added 10 points and seven assists for the Lakers (21-11), who moved a season-high 10 games over .500 in their second game in a stretch of seven where all but one have losing records.
Mike Dunleavy led Indiana (16-19) with 17 points. Danny Granger added 14 points, Jermaine O'Neal scored 13 and Kareem Rush had 12 for the Pacers, who lost their fifth straight road game and for the sixth time in seven games overall.
Mavericks 101, Timberwolves 78
At Minneapolis, Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas in scoring for the ninth straight game, scoring 30 points, and the Mavericks handed Minnesota its eighth consecutive loss.
Josh Howard added 22 points and eight rebounds for the Mavericks, who led by as many as 31 points en route to their fourth win in a row and ninth in their last 11.
Al Jefferson had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the lackluster Timberwolves, who delivered an uninspired performance despite not having won a game since Dec. 21 against Indiana.
Wizards 108, SuperSonics 86
At Washington, Caron Butler scored 31 points, Antawn Jamison had 21 points and 12 rebounds, and the Wizards won their second straight game by more than 20 - the first time that's happened since December 2004.
Antonio Daniels had 13 points and 10 assists for Washington.
It was a homecoming for two Sonics starters. Kevin Durant, a Washington native who was the second pick in June's NBA draft, had 19 points. Jeff Green, a Georgetown product from nearby Cheverly, Md., was just 4-for-13 from the field and finished with eight points.
Bucks 93, Bobcats 89
At Charlotte, N.C., reserve Charlie Bell scored 27 points and Andrew Bogut added 25, including a short hook shot with 19 seconds left.
Bogut's hoop capped Milwaukee's comeback from an eight-point deficit with 3:51 remaining. Mo Williams scored 17 for the Bucks.
Gerald Wallace scored 25 points for the Bobcats, who have lost three in a row and seven of nine. Jason Richardson added 21 points for Charlotte.