|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 19 March 2008 19:36|
David West, returning from a right ankle sprain that sidelined him for two games, had 23 points and 11 rebounds to help New Orleans (46-21) pull a half-game ahead of the Rockets for the Southwest Division lead and even with the Los Angeles Lakers atop the Western Conference.
Tracy McGrady, who scored only eight points in a 94-74 loss to Boston a night earlier, scored 15 against New Orleans, still well below his nearly 22-point-per-game average.
Chris Paul had 21 points and 10 assists for the Hornets, who extended their home winning streak to eight while ending the Rockets 12-game winning streak on the road.
Houston, which shot 41 percent against Boston, was even worse in New Orleans, finishing at 34 percent.
Luis Scola had 14 points and nine rebounds before fouling out with three minutes left. Shane Battier also scored 14, while Dikembe Mutombo and Rafer Alston each scored 10.
Tyson Chandler grabbed 15 rebounds for New Orleans, which overcame a 14-point first-half deficit.
Suns 110, SuperSonics 98
SEATTLE (AP) - Steve Nash scored 23 points, Amare Stoudemire dominated inside with 26 points and Phoenix overcame a season-high 27 turnovers to win its season-best sixth straight.
The Suns within a half game of New Orleans and the idle Lakers for the best record in the Western Conference.
Suns guard Raja Bell injured his right ankle late in the third quarter after hitting his sixth 3-pointer. X-rays were negative and Suns' athletic trainer Aaron Nelson said Bell had a mild to moderate sprain, but how long Bell might be out won't be determined until Thursday.
Phoenix was 15-for-21 from 3-point range.
Jeff Green led Seattle with 19 points, and Kevin Durant and Luke Ridnour both scored 16.
Cavaliers 89, Pistons 73
CLEVELAND (AP) - LeBron James scored 30 points, moving closer to becoming Cleveland's top career scorer, and the Cavaliers beat Detroit in the Pistons' first visit to Cleveland since losing Game 6 of last year's Eastern Conference finals.
James came in needing 35 points to pass Brad Daugherty as the Cavs' scoring leader. The NBA's leading scorer will likely break the mark on Friday when Cleveland hosts the Toronto Raptors in a potential first-round playoff preview.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 20 points and Wally Szczerbiak 10 for the Cavaliers, the defending Eastern Conference champions.
Rasheed Wallace scored 16 points and Richard Hamilton 14 for the Pistons, who were held to 63 fewer points than they scored in a 136-120 win over Denver on Tuesday.
Warriors 116, Clippers 100
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Stephen Jackson scored 29 points, Monta Ellis added 28 and Golden State tightened its grip on a playoff spot.
Golden State's ninth victory in 12 games, coupled with Denver's two-point loss at Philadelphia, increased the Warriors' lead over the Nuggets to 2 1/2 games in the race for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff berth.
Rookie Al Thornton had 24 points and 13 rebounds for the Clippers, who have lost five straight and 13 of 15.
Raptors 96, Heat 54
TORONTO (AP) - Toronto held Miami to the third-lowest point total in the shot-clock era.
Miami was just five points off the NBA record-low since the shot clock was introduced in the 1954-55 season, Chicago's 49-point effort against the Heat in April 1999.
Andrea Bargnani and Anthony Parker each scored 14 points and Jose Calderon had 10 points and 10 assists to help the Raptors snap a season-high five-game losing streak. The 42-point margin of victory was the largest in franchise history, beating Toronto's previous mark of 39.
The Heat (12-55) have the worst record in the NBA.
Toronto's Chris Bosh had eight points and eight rebounds in his return after missing 10 games with a sore right knee. The Raptors were 2-8 without Bosh, including 0-5 on a just-concluded West Coast trip.
76ers 115, Nuggets 113
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Andre Miller scored 28 points and the 76ers spoiled Allen Iverson's return to Philadelphia.
Iverson, playing in Philly for the first time since being traded to Denver in December 2006, led all scorers with 32 points and added eight assists.
Samuel Dalembert scored the decisive basket with 32.9 second remaining for Philadelphia. He had 17 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots.
Carmelo Anthony scored 26 points for the Nuggets, who are scrambling for a playoff spot in the tough Western Conference.
Nets 125, Hawks 117
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)- Vince Carter had a season-high 39 points and 10 assists and New Jersey moved into a tie with Atlanta for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Richard Jefferson added 33 points and Devin Harris had a career-high 26 points and nine assists despite playing on a sprained ankle as the Nets had a season-high point total.
New Jersey also won the season-series with Atlanta 3-1, which means the Nets have the advantage if they finish tied.
Joe Johnson had 24 points to lead six Hawks in double figures.
Wizards 87, Magic 86
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Antawn Jamison had 31 points and 11 rebounds and Washington shut down Dwight Howard offensively in a win over Orlando.
Hedo Turkoglu had a career high with 39 points for the Magic, but Howard had only three points and 14 rebounds. He sat much of the game in foul trouble, turned the ball over four times and shot 1-for-6,.
DeShawn Stevenson, who played 2 1/2 seasons for Orlando, scored 14, while Caron Butler had 11 points and nine rebounds and Brendan Haywood had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Pacers 102, Bobcats 95
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Flip Murray scored 22 points, and Indiana won its second straight game while handing Charlotte is fifth consecutive loss.
Troy Murphy had 18 points and 13 rebounds and Shawne Williams, who had been benched for five straight games, scored 14 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter for Indiana.
Jason Richardson had 20 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, and Matt Carroll added 18 points for the Bobcats.
Indiana forward Danny Granger missed the game with a sprained right wrist. Granger, the team's leading scorer, had started all but one game this season.
Timberwolves 98, Grizzlies 94
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Al Jefferson scored 22 of his 29 points in the second half to help Minnesota erase a 14-point deficit and beat Memphis.
After hitting just one of his first 11 shots, Minnesota's Ryan Gomes made two free throws and then jumper from the elbow with 52.8 seconds left to help seal it and hand the Grizzlies their 18th straight road loss.
Mike Miller had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Rudy Gay scored 25 for the Grizzlies (16-51), who moved into a tie with Seattle for the second-worst record in the NBA.