SCOREBOARD
Monday, March 2
Charlotte at Philadelphia (7 p.m. EST). The Bobcats try to improve their playoff prospects against the 76ers, who are also battling for a postseason spot.

STARS
Sunday
-Richard Hamilton, Pistons, had 25 points and nine assists to help Detroit to a 105-95 win at Boston.
-Shaquille O'Neal, Suns, scored 33 points to lead Phoenix past former teammate Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers 118-111.
-David West, Hornets, scored 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in New Orleans' 99-96 win at New Jersey.
-Troy Murphy, Pacers, had 22 points and 18 rebounds for his seventh straight double-double to lead Indiana to a 100-94 win over Denver.
-Yao Ming, Rockets, towered over Minnesota with 17 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks in Houston's 105-94 victory.
-Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge, Trail Blazers, each scored 26 points for Portland in a 102-84 romp past San Antonio.
-Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks, had 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead Dallas past Toronto 109-98.
-Deron Williams, Jazz, had a season-high 20 assists and Utah beat Golden State 112-104.

STATS
to an Eastern Conference opponent at home for the first time this season when Detroit won 105-95. Detroit made a season-high 34 free throws in 40 attempts. ... Phoenix is 4-4 without guard Steve Nash this season. He sat out a 118-111 win over the Lakers with a sprained right ankle. ... The Cavaliers (46-12) moved a half-game ahead of Boston for the top spot in the Eastern Conference by beating Atlanta 88-87. ... Portland's 64 first-half points tied the mark for the most for a Spurs opponent. The Trail Blazers won 102-84.

STREAKS
Detroit had lost five straight regular season games to Boston before winning 105-95. ... The Timberwolves lost their sixth game in a row, 105-94 to Houston, and fell to 1-8 since star center Al Jefferson went down for the season with a torn ACL. ... The Blazers won their ninth straight at the Rose Garden and are 24-5 at home this season. ... The Mavericks have won their last nine games at home against the Raptors. Toronto hasn't won in Dallas since 1999. ... Utah has won eight straight to move within two games of the Northwest Division lead.

MILESTONE
Dallas guard Jason Kidd handed out 15 assists to become the fourth player in NBA history with 10,000 for his career. He trails only John Stockton (15,806), Mark Jackson (10,334) and Magic Johnson (10,141) on the NBA career list.

HOME SWEET HOME
ston, Cleveland, Orlando and now Denver at Conseco Fieldhouse. That leaves San Antonio as the only current division leader the Pacers haven't beaten at home.

SCORING
After his 45-point game against Toronto on Friday night, Suns center Shaquille O'Neal has consecutive 30-point games for the first time since March 5-7, 2004, when he played for the Lakers. O'Neal scored 33 in a 118-111 win over his former team. O'Neal, who turns 37 on Friday, is the fourth player over 35 in NBA history to score at least 33 points in consecutive games. The others are Michael Jordan, Karl Malone and Alex English.

STRONG IN DEFEAT
Kobe Bryant scored 49 points against the Suns, but Los Angeles fell at Phoenix 118-111. ... Devin Harris and Vince Carter each had 26 points to pace the Nets in a 99-96 loss to New Orleans. Harris also had 14 assists. ... Former Dallas high school star Chris Bosh paced the Raptors with 28 points and 10 rebounds in a 109-98 loss to the Mavericks.

SIDELINED
s Diener sat out a win over Denver with the flu.

BACK ON THE COURT
All-Star forward Tim Duncan returned to San Antonio's lineup Sunday in a 102-84 loss at Portland after missing the last three games with a right quad injury. San Antonio remained without Manu Ginobili, who is expected to miss at least another week with an ankle injury. ... Mavericks sixth man Jason Terry, out since early last month with a broken bone in his left hand, was active for Sunday night's win over the Toronto Raptors. Dallas was 5-3 in Terry's absence.

SPEAKING
``It's what I do. I've been doing it since 1992. If you don't believe it, Google me.'' - Suns center Shaquille O'Neal, who scored 33 points in a 118-111 win over the Lakers. Shaq scored 45 on Friday night and has consecutive 30-point games for the first time since March 2004.

``Don't ask me nothing funny. I'm not smiling. You're not seeing my tooth. It feels foul. It feels like I can't chew anything, like Roger Rabbit or something.'' - Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who had a tooth knocked out of place in a loss at Phoenix.

``I walked past him and I'm at his waist. He's a huge human being. It's tough to go in there and get shots over him.'' - Randy Foye, Minnesota's 6-foot-4 shooting guard, about Houston center Yao Ming.
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