|Wells scores 25 points as Hornets hand Rockets second straight loss after 22 wins, 90-69|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 19 March 2008 22:27|
Bonzi Wells scored 20 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter to help the New Orleans Hornets beat Houston 90-69 Wednesday night, handing the Rockets their second loss in two nights after a 22-game winning streak.
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 average.
``We've got to make it easier on him,'' Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. ``They are doubling him so hard. They're coming at him all the time. If he gives it up, we have to be able to finish it.''
Houston, which shot 41 percent against Boston, was even worse in New Orleans, finishing at 34 percent. The Rockets also set a season low for points.
``We've got to get ourselves together, but it is getting harder every game,'' McGrady said.
The Rockets' low didn't compare to the one set by the struggling Miami Heat, who tied the third-worst total in the shot-clock era in a 96-54 loss at Toronto.
In other games Wednesday night, it was: Washington 87, Orlando 86; Indiana 102, Charlotte 95; Philadelphia 115, Denver 113; New Jersey 125, Atlanta 117; Cleveland 89, Detroit 73; Minnesota 98, Memphis 94; Phoenix 110, Seattle 98; Golden State 116, the Los Angeles Clippers 100.
Wells was traded from Houston to New Orleans along with Mike James in exchange for Bobby Jackson nearly a month ago.
``I've been on five different teams so it doesn't really matter,'' Wells said. ``We're really fighting for something here and if you can't get motivated every night you shouldn't be in this league.''
David West had 23 points and 11 rebounds, Chris Paul added 21 points and 10 assists, and New Orleans pulled a half-game ahead of the Rockets for the Southwest Division lead and tied the Los Angeles Lakers atop the Western Conference.
The Hornets also won their eighth straight at home while ending the Rockets' 12-game winning streak on the road.
Luis Scola had 14 points and nine rebounds for the Rockets before fouling out with 3 minutes left. Shane Battier also scored 14, while Dikembe Mutombo and Rafer Alston each scored 10.
Tyson Chandler grabbed 15 rebounds for the Hornets, who were down by 14 in the second quarter before cutting Houston's lead to 44-39 at halftime.
New Orleans put together an 8-2 run during the last 2:30 of the third quarter to tie it at 59 heading into the fourth. Wells then opened the final quarter by scoring nine points on a fast-break dunk as he was fouled, a driving layup and a pair of jumpers during a 13-2 run that gave New Orleans a 72-61 lead.
``I had the luxury of knowing those guys a little bit, practicing with them the last couple years,'' Wells said of the Rockets. ``We played 1-on-1 so much I kind of knew the way those guys were going to guard me.''
Raptors 96, Heat 54
At Toronto, Miami was just five points off the NBA record-low since the shot clock was introduced in the 1954-55 season.
The injury-riddled Heat, down to just seven players, set franchise lows for points in a game and in a half (26), and shot a franchise-worst 20-for-78 (.256), just enough to beat 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.
76ers 115, Nuggets 113
Andre Miller scored 28 points, Samuel Dalembert scored the decisive basket with 32.9 seconds left 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, had 32 points and added eight assists.
Cavaliers 89, Pistons 73
LeBron James scored 30 points, moving closer to becoming the franchise'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 needs 5 points to pass Brad Daugherty as the Cavs' scoring leader. Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 20 points for the Cavaliers.
Nets 125, Hawks 117
Vince Carter had a season-high 39 points and 10 assists and host 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.
Joe Johnson had 24 points for the Hawks.
Wizards 87, Magic 86
Antawn Jamison had 31 points and 11 rebounds and Washington shut down Dwight Howard to win at 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 from the field.
Pacers 102, Bobcats 95
Flip Murray scored 22 points and Indiana won its second straight game while handing visiting Charlotte its fifth consecutive loss.
Troy Murphy had 18 points and 13 rebounds for Indiana.
Jason Richardson had 20 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Bobcats.
Timberwolves 98, Grizzlies 94
Al Jefferson scored 22 of his 29 points in the second half to help Minnesota erase a 14-point deficit.
After hitting just one of his first 11 shots, Minnesota's Ryan Gomes made two free throws and then a jumper with 52.8 seconds left to help hand Memphis its 18th straight road loss.
Suns 110, SuperSonics 98
Steve Nash scored 23 points, Amare Stoudemire dominated inside with 26 points and visiting Phoenix overcame a season-high 27 turnovers to win its season-best sixth straight.
Jeff Green led Seattle with 19 points, and Kevin Durant and Luke Ridnour both scored 16.
Warriors 116, Clippers 100
Stephen Jackson scored 29 points, Monta Ellis added 28 and visiting Golden State got its ninth victory in 12 games to increased its lead over Denver to 2 1/2 games for the eighth playoff spot in the West.
Al Thornton had 24 points and 13 rebounds for the Clippers, who have lost five straight and 13 of 15.