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Wednesday, 19 December 2007 21:39
NBA Headline News

 BOSTON (AP) -Chauncey Billups hit two free throws with one-tenth of a second left and the Detroit Pistons handed the Celtics their first home loss of the season, 87-85 on Wednesday night.
The Celtics (20-3) had matched their best start ever, also achieved by the 1963-64 team that eventually won the NBA title. Boston had won its first 12 home games, its most since a club-record 17 by the 1957-58 squad.
Billups, who scored 12 of his team-high 28 points in the final quarter, was fouled by Tony Allen. On the previous possession, Billups' turnover gave the Celtics a chance to grab the lead.
Richard Hamilton added 21 points for Detroit (18-7) in a matchup of the Eastern Conference's top teams.
Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with 26 points and Ray Allen, who returned after missing the last two games because of a sore right ankle, had 24, including a game-tying 3-pointer with 18.9 seconds to play.
Mavericks 108, Suns 105
DALLAS (AP) - Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 points, including the Mavericks' final eight, giving Dallas just enough to hold off the Suns in yet another intense, entertaining game between the Western Conference rivals.
Dallas led by 17 at the end of the first quarter and Phoenix never recovered, but the Suns sure came close. Even after trailing by 14 with 7:10 left, they had a chance to tie it in the closing seconds but Nash shot an airball on a 3-pointer.
The Mavs have won four straight and six of seven, enough to tighten up the top of the Western Conference standings. Dallas is 18-9, narrowly behind Phoenix (18-8) and San Antonio (18-7).
Amare Stoudemire had 25 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Steve Nash had 21 points, but only three in the final period. He also had 18 assists.
Josh Howard had 23 points and seven rebounds, and Devin Harris scored all 21 of his points over the first three quarters.
Hawks 117, Heat 111, OT
ATLANTA (AP) - Joe Johnson scored 25 points and gave Atlanta the lead for good with a three-point play and the Hawks outlasted the Heat in overtime.
Marvin Williams had 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Hawks, who have missed the playoffs eight straight years.
Atlanta (13-12) has a winning record at the latest point since 1998-99, its last playoff season.
The Heat have lost 8 of 11, and coach Pat Riley has a new injury concern. Miami lost backup center Alonzo Mourning to a torn patellar tendon in his right knee in the first quarter, leaving his status for the rest of the season in doubt.
Dwyane Wade scored 36 points while making 20 of 22 free throws.
Magic 97, Rockets 92
HOUSTON (AP) - Dwight Howard had 21 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks and Orlando took advantage of Tracy McGrady's absence in the second half to beat Houston.
Yao scored 19 on 7-for-18 shooting and had 17 rebounds in the first matchup of the season between two of the game's best centers.
Rafer Alston and Bonzi Wells added 17 points apiece for Houston, which cut Orlando's lead to one with a late rally before losing for the sixth time in nine games.
McGrady left with a sore left knee at halftime after going 1-for-10 from the field in the first half. He bruised the knee in Saturday's loss to Dallas and went 5-of-18 from the field in that game.
Knicks 108, Cavaliers 90
NEW YORK (AP) - David Lee scored 17 of his 22 points in the first half, Jamal Crawford added 21, and New York beat Cleveland for its most lopsided victory of the season.
Two nights after coach Isiah Thomas questioned their heart and toughness, the Knicks (8-17) had all the answers. New York shot a season-best 56.2 percent from the field and led by as many as 24 points in their most complete effort during a disappointing first 25 games.
Zach Randolph had 17 points and Quentin Richardson added 16.
LeBron James had 32 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Cleveland, which has lost nine of 11.
Grizzlies 88, Spurs 85
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Rudy Gay hit a 3-pointer over Tim Duncan as time expired to give Memphis the victory over San Antonio.
Manu Ginobili's dunk with 2.4 seconds left tied the score at 85. Juan Carlos Navarro threw an inbounds pass to Gay, who dribbled toward the top of the key and got off a shot as the horn sounded, sending San Antonio to its third straight road loss.
Mike Miller's season-high 31 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the field led Memphis, and Gay finished with 23 points. Damon Stoudemire and Navarro had 10 points apiece.
Ginobili led the Spurs with 20 points, including 16 in the second half. Duncan finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Michael Finley scored 11 points and Jacque Vaughn had 10.
Warriors 111, Timberwolves 98
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Al Harrington scored 25 points, including 14 in the decisive third quarter, and Golden State ran past Minnesota during another second-half fade by the fledgling Timberwolves.
Monta Ellis added 24 points and Stephen Jackson had 20 for Golden State, which has overcome an 0-6 start to jump back in the conference race.
Rashad McCants, reinserted in the starting lineup while Marko Jaric was home fighting the flu, had 23 points for Minnesota (3-21), which is off to the worst start in the franchise's 19 seasons.
Al Jefferson added 24 points and 14 rebounds, and Gerald Green took advantage of the injuries and illnesses to score a season-high 18 points in a season-high 30 minutes.
Trail Blazers 101, Raptors 96
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Brandon Roy had 25 points, nine rebounds and eight assists and Portland won its ninth straight game.
The Blazers, 11-3 at home and 14-12 overall, have won nine straight games for the first time since they won 12 in a row during the 2001-02 season.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points and seven rebounds, and Martell Webster also scored 15 points.
Jose Calderon had 18 points and nine assists for the Raptors, while Chris Bosh added 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Bulls 95, Wizards 84
WASHINGTON (AP) - Ben Gordon scored 22 points and Chicago used a 12-0 run in the final 4 minutes to beat Washington.
Chicago's run came after Caron Butler's jump shot gave Washington its first lead of the second half, 80-79, with about four minutes to play. The Bulls then scored the game's next 12 points to end Washington's four-game win streak.
Butler had his second triple-double of the season and career, with 29 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Antawn Jamison scored 24 points for the Wizards.
Chicago was playing without center Ben Wallace, who missed his first game of the season with a sore left foot. Luol Deng had 20 points for the Bulls, and Tyrus Thomas scored 14.
Pacers 102, 76ers 85
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Marquis Daniels scored a season-high 26 points, and Indiana beat Philadelphia for its third straight win.
Jermaine O'Neal had 19 points, nine rebounds and five blocks, and Mike Dunleavy added 19 points for the Pacers (13-11).
Andre Iguodala and Andre Miller each scored 19 points for the 76ers (10-15). Samuel Dalembert had 15 points and 14 rebounds and Reggie Evans added nine points and 16 rebounds for Philadelphia, which had won five of six.
The Pacers led 66-62 early in the third quarter before going on a 10-1 run, including 3-pointers by Dunleavy and Kareem Rush, to take a 76-63 lead late in the period.
Bobcats 98, Jazz 92
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Gerald Wallace scored 26 points and Jason Richardson had 24 to lead Charlotte's furious fourth-quarter comeback.
In their first game since part-owner Michael Jordan took a hands-on approach which included suiting up for practice a day earlier, the Bobcats rallied from a 12-point deficit with under 6 minutes left for only their third win in 13 games.
Raymond Felton added 17 points, including a three-point play with 3:24 left that capped a 13-0 run to put Charlotte ahead. After the Jazz retook the lead, Felton hit two free throws to put Charlotte ahead to stay.
Carlos Boozer had 21 points and 15 rebounds and Deron Williams scored 20 points for the Jazz, who committed 21 turnovers.
Kings 102, Bucks 89
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Ron Artest scored 26 points and had eight assists and Beno Udrih hit a career-high six 3-pointers to help Sacramento beat Milwaukee to finish 3-2 on its five-game road trip.
Udrih, traded to and released by Minnesota on Oct. 29, and signed by the Kings on Nov. 1, finished with 24 points for the Kings, who had been 0-9 before the road trip.
John Salmons had 17 points, Mikki Moore 12 points and Brad Miller 11 points and nine rebounds for the Kings.
Michael Redd, who had 27 points for the Bucks, scored 10 straight midway through the fourth only for Sacramento to answer each time.
Hornets 107, SuperSonics 93
SEATTLE (AP) - Chris Paul had 21 points and 15 assists, and Morris Peterson matched a career-high with seven 3-pointers and finished with 25 points to help New Orleans beat the SuperSonics.
Paul was a migraine all night for whoever had the misfortune of trying to slow him down. Paul consistently beat Seattle guards Earl Watson and Luke Ridnour off the dribble, getting into the lane and creating opportunities all over the floor for his teammates.
David West finished with 17 points 11 rebounds and Tyson Chandler had 16 points and 17 rebounds.
Rookie Kevin Durant led Seattle with 18 points, but it was an uninspired performance by the Sonics, who staged a second-half rally to nearly beat the Hornets in New Orleans on Dec. 9.
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