SCOREBOARD
Saturday, Feb. 23
Los Angeles Lakers at Los Angeles Clippers (10:30 p.m. EST). The Lakers have won six straight games and are 7-1 with Pau Gasol in the lineup.

STARS
Friday
-Jamal Crawford, Knicks, scored a season-high 43 points in a 103-99 win over the Toronto Raptors.
-Ben Gordon, Bulls, scored 37 points in a 135-121 win over the Denver Nuggets.
-Mike Dunleavy, Pacers, scored 34 points, and Indiana beat the New Jersey Nets 113-103.
-LeBron James, Cavaliers, had 33 points with 15 rebounds and eight assists in a 90-89 win over the Washington Wizards.

WHITE HOT
Yao Ming had 28 points and 14 rebounds, and the Houston Rockets won their 11th straight game, 100-80 over the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night. Tracy McGrady scored 34 points on an array of perimeter jumpers, driving layups through crowds and soaring dunks, helping Houston build an early double-digit lead it maintained throughout the second half in snapping New Orleans' five-game winning streak.

OUTBURST
Ben Gordon scored 37 points, and the Chicago Bulls delivered one of their best offensive efforts in years, overcoming a surge by Denver to beat the Nuggets 135-121 Friday night. The Bulls scored at least 30 points in all four quarters for the first time since Feb. 18, 1997, against Denver, and the 135 points were a season high

COMING TOGETHER
Amare Stoudemire scored 28 points and the Phoenix Suns gave Boston its first three-game losing streak of the season with a rugged 85-77 victory over the Celtics on Friday night. The Suns got their first victory with Shaquille O'Neal in the lineup. They lost 130-124 to the Los Angeles Lakers in O'Neal's Phoenix debut on Wednesday night.

SNAPPED
Joe Johnson had 27 points and the Atlanta Hawks snapped a six-game losing streak with a 117-110 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.

STRONG IN DEFEAT
Denver's J.R. Smith scored a career-high 43 points in a 135-121 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Friday night. ... Richard Jefferson scored 34 points for the Nets in a 113-103 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

SPEAKING
``We talked about making a statement. We feel we're playing as well as anybody in the league right now and we want to show that we can continue to do that by playing the best teams and getting the win.'' - Rockets coach Rick Adelman, after Houston won its 11th straight game, 100-80 over the Western Conference-leading New Orleans Hornets on Friday night.

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