|Heat's skid at 12 after loss to Blazers; Artest has fun trip to Detroit|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 18 January 2008 23:26|
The Heat dropped their 12th straight game, matching the third-longest streak in franchise history, with a 98-91 home loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night. Miami hasn't won since Dec. 22, and its 8-30 record is the worst in the Eastern Conference.
``Everybody is down,'' said Shaquille O'Neal, who had 20 points and 11 rebounds. ``Everybody is humiliated and embarrassed. But I've seen people in worse situations. We've got to keep fighting, and hopefully it will turn around.''
Artest was much more upbeat after helping Sacramento to a 100-93 victory over the Pistons. Blowing kisses to the booing fans and hitting a clutch shot late in the game, he had a good time in the site of his lowest NBA moment, the 2004 brawl with fans that led to his 73-game suspension.
``I figured if they're going to boo me, I'm going to love 'em,'' Artest said. ``I love Detroit.''
Artest, Kevin Martin and Mike Bibby, all back from injuries, came off the bench to give the Kings' reserves a huge advantage. Martin scored 24 points, Artest had 18 and Bibby 16, while Detroit managed just five points from its nonstarters.
``For us on the road, beating a team that has the second-best record in the league is a huge win for us,'' Kings coach Reggie Theus said.
In other games, it was: Toronto 89, Atlanta 78; Washington 111, New York 98; Boston 116, Philadelphia 89; Memphis 124, Seattle 100; New Orleans 112, Charlotte 84; Phoenix 115, Minnesota 95; Utah 106, the Los Angeles Clippers 88; and Golden State 119, Chicago 111.
Chauncey Billups had 28 points and 10 assists and Richard Hamilton added 24 points for the Pistons, who have lost two of their past three and were swept by the Kings in the season series.
``We waited too long to start fighting,'' Billups said.
The Trail Blazers fought back just in time against the Heat. Miami scored 35 points in the third quarter to build a seven-point lead, but Brandon Roy answered with 16 in the final period, including nine during a 14-0 run that put Portland ahead 88-78. Miami managed only one field goal in the first 7 1/2 minutes of the fourth period.
``We had control of the game, and then we took a punch from them in the third quarter,'' said Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan, whose team is the youngest in the NBA. ``We were able to recover and win the game. That is part of the growth that we are starting to see.''
Roy finished with 24 points to help the Trail Blazers win for the ninth time after trailing at the start of the final period. Dwyane Wade led Miami with 37 points, including a team-record 20 in the third quarter. But he managed only two points in the final period, when he went 1-for-7, including a miss that would have tied the game with less than 2 minutes left.
``We just couldn't sustain what we did in the third quarter,'' Heat coach Pat Riley said. ``That was as well as we played in a long time from a defensive standpoint. Then in the fourth quarter we just began to miss shots.''
Suns 115, Timberwolves 95
Steve Nash was 6-for-6 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line for 17 points with 13 assists, and Phoenix handed Minnesota its 15th consecutive road loss.
Amare Stoudemire scored 23 points, Raja Bell 20, Leandro Barbosa 19 and Shawn Marion 18 for the Suns, who shot 54 percent from the field.
Al Jefferson had 27 points and 14 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who fell to 1-19 on the road. Rashad McCants added 19 points and Craig Smith 16.
Warriors 119, Bulls 111
Baron Davis matched a career high with 40 points, hitting six 3-pointers, and Golden State used a strong finish to win in Chicago.
Stephen Jackson had 12 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, including a key 3-pointer with 46 seconds left. Ben Gordon led Chicago with 29 points and Andres Nocioni added 28.
Celtics 116, 76ers 89
Paul Pierce scored 14 of his 22 points in the third quarter to help Boston take the lead, and Ray Allen scored 10 of his 23 in the fourth when the host Celtics pulled away.
Kevin Garnett had 11 points, eight assists and six rebounds in Boston's second consecutive victory since its only losing streak of the season, a two-game skid.
Andre Iguodala had 17 points, and Samuel Dalembert had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the 76ers.
Hornets 112, Bobcats 84
David West scored 28 points in 32 minutes and New Orleans won its fourth straight game.
Peja Stojakovic hit five 3-pointers and finished with 17 points for the hosts, who shot 60 percent in winning for the 12th time in its past 14 games to keep pace with the leaders in the Western Conference.
Emeka Okafor led Charlotte with 13 points.
Jazz 106, Clippers 88
Carlos Boozer had 19 points and 10 rebounds and Utah recovered from a humbling loss the night before by beating the Clippers. Deron Williams scored 15 points and Andrei Kirilenko added 13 points and seven assists for Utah.
Corey Maggette scored 20 points and Chris Kaman had 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Clippers, who are 1-30 in EnergySolutions Arena - originally known as the Delta Center.
Raptors 89, Hawks 78
Chris Bosh had 35 points and nine rebounds, Anthony Parker scored 18 points and Toronto won for the fifth time in six games. Bosh, who had 13 points in the fourth quarter, has scored at least 30 in four of Toronto's past five games.
Joe Johnson had 25 points for the visiting Hawks.
Wizards 111, Knicks 98
Antawn Jamison scored 32 points, Caron Butler added 22 while stretching his made free-throw streak to an NBA season-high 54, and Washington snapped New York's three-game winning streak.
Washington (21-17) has won four of its past five games. Quentin Richardson led the visitors with a season-high 21 points, but he only scored two in the second half.
Grizzlies 124, SuperSonics 100
Pau Gasol had 24 points and 12 rebounds, Mike Miller added 25 points and Memphis sent visiting Seattle to its ninth straight loss.
Seattle had not lost nine straight since early in the 1972-73 season. Memphis snapped a five-game skid.
Kevin Durant led Seattle with 22 points.