|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 20 February 2008 19:22|
Pau Gasol added 29, including a breakaway dunk that put Los Angeles up 123-117 with 1:15 to play. Lamar Odom added 22 for the Lakers, who won their sixth in a row to move into a tie with Phoenix atop the Pacific Division.
O'Neal scored nine of his 15 points in the final quarter and grabbed nine rebounds in 29 minutes against his old team in his first game in nearly a month. He came to the Suns a week ago in an unexpected trade that sent Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks to Miami. O'Neal played for the Lakers from 1996-2004 and helped lead them to three NBA titles.
Amare Stoudemire had 37 points and 15 rebounds for Phoenix, while Steve Nash added 26 points and eight assists and Leandro Barbosa had 17 points.
Hornets 104, Mavericks 93
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Chris Paul had 31 points, 11 assist and a career-high nine steals, spoiling Jason Kidd's debut with Dallas and lifting New Orleans.
Kidd, acquired Tuesday from New Jersey, looked out of sorts at times, committing six turnovers.
Meanwhile, Paul's dazzling performance on both ends of the floor had the enraptured crowd on its feet, raining down chants of ``M-V-P!'' for their own All-Star point guard while a banner offering similar sentiments flapped from the upper deck.
Kidd, who had practiced only twice with his new team, finished with eight points and five assists.
Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 31 points. Reserve Jason Terry scored 14 points and Erick Dampier added 11.
Cavaliers 106, Pacers 97
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - LeBron James had his second consecutive triple-double, with 31 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
It was James' sixth triple-double of the season and the 16th of his career, and it helped the Cavaliers end a two-game losing streak. Larry Hughes added 19 points and Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 14 points and 17 rebounds, but Cleveland lost guard Daniel Gibson to a sprained left ankle in the third quarter.
Danny Granger scored 30 points, Troy Murphy 20 and Jeff Foster had nine points and 15 rebounds for the Pacers, who lost their third straight.
Cleveland has won six straight against Pacers, including all three meetings this season. James had a triple-double in their last meeting in Indianapolis - 30 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists - in Cleveland's 111-106 win.
76ers 124, Knicks 84
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Philadelphia 76ers rarely have had a win so easy, scoring 100 points through three quarters and crushing the New York Knicks.
New York had turnovers on almost every possession in some stretches, took ugly shots and trailed by 46 points in the third quarter. By the fourth quarter, a few Knicks fans - or more likely 76ers fans poking fun at New York's dismal situation - started the familiar ``Fire Isiah!'' chant. Coach Isiah Thomas couldn't escape the derisive jeer or another loss down I-95.
Willie Green scored 21 points, Thaddeus Young had a career-high 20 and Andre Iguodala added 19 for the Sixers, who won their sixth straight at home.
Philadelphia's win came hours after the Sixers gave coach Maurice Cheeks a one-year contract extension. While one former NBA point guard-turned-coach celebrated, belittled and beleaguered Thomas could only sit on the Knicks bench and simply stare ahead at this horror.
Jamal Crawford scored 14 points and Eddy Curry had 12 for the Knicks.
Raptors 127, Magic 110
TORONTO (AP) - Chris Bosh had 40 points - going 14-for-16 from the field and 11-for-11 from the foul line - and Jose Calderon had 19 points and 13 assists for the Toronto Raptors.
Bosh made 11 of his first 12 shots and even made a rare 3-pointer in the third quarter, struggling to contain a smile as he retreated back down court. Bosh is 3-for-6 from 3-point range this season.
Carlos Delfino came off the bench to score 23 for Toronto, including five 3-pointers. Jamario Moon had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Anthony Parker scored 10.
Dwight Howard led Orlando with 37 points and 15 rebounds, going 13-for-16 from the field and 11-for-15 from the free-throw line. Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu each finished with 16, Jameer Nelson had 13 and Maurice Evans 12.
Bucks 103, Pistons 98
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Michael Redd scored 27 points and Andrew Bogut continued his tear with 14 points and 14 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks snapped a four-game losing streak.
Milwaukee, which avoided extending a season-high losing skid, also snapped a streak of four straight setbacks to Detroit, including a pair of embarrassing losses this season by an average of 35.5 points.
The Pistons, leading the Central Division at 39-15 and still 19 games ahead of cellar-dwelling Milwaukee, finally came on in the final four minutes after trailing by as many as 21 in the second half.
Rasheed Wallace, who finished with 21 points on 5-of-10 shooting from 3-point range, hit four 3s in the final 2:20 to nearly bring the Pistons back, but Milwaukee saved itself by hitting 10 of 12 free throws in the span.
Nets 110, Bulls 102, OT
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Marcus Williams, in his first game as Jason Kidd's temporary replacement at point guard, combined with Richard Jefferson for New Jersey's first 10 points of overtime.
Vince Carter led the Nets with a season-high 33 points, though appeared to be grabbing at his hamstring as the game ended. But Williams and Jefferson dominated the overtime on both ends of the floor, helping the Nets to their 13th straight home victory over the Bulls.
Williams scored a season-best 25 points and had a big steal in overtime. Jefferson finished with 24 points and added a big blocked shot in the extra session. Both players had six points in overtime.
Joe Smith scored 17 points for the Bulls and Ben Gordon added 14 in an otherwise poor performance.