|Shaq still a scorer, Iverson doesn't need to be|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 29 December 2008 22:55|
Both ways worked for them Monday night.
O'Neal had 28 points and 12 rebounds, and the Suns overcame the loss of Steve Nash to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 110-102.
Nash played only 9 minutes before his back spasms struck and Amare Stoudemire was hounded by foul trouble, so the Suns turned to O'Neal, who shot 10-for-12 and passed Dominique Wilkins for ninth place on the league's career scoring list.
``I've been telling them all year: `When they get it to me and let me do what I do, I can still put up those numbers.' Just because I'm 35, sometimes they think that he's old, he can't do it,'' O'Neal said. ``Guys were looking for me, and I was just doing what I do.''
O'Neal has 26,691 points and will soon pass Oscar Robertson for eighth place. Iverson is next among active players in 17th place with 23,494 points, but isn't interested in individual stats at this stage of his career.
the team, but the Pistons snapped Orlando's seven-game winning streak with an 88-82 victory.
``This is a different feeling, but I like it a lot,'' he said. ``I've won four scoring titles and I've scored 23,000 points, so I've done a lot of big things when it comes to scoring the basketball, but now I've got different goals.''
In other games, it was: Atlanta 109, Denver 91; Chicago 100, New Jersey 87; Minnesota 108, Memphis 98 in overtime; Washington 89, Houston 87; Utah 112, Philadelphia 95; and Golden State 117, Toronto 111.
At Auburn Hills, Mich., Detroit won its fourth in a row, the last two without Richard Hamilton (groin). Rodney Stuckey led Detroit with 19 points, and Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace each added 16.
``I'm not used to seeing myself with 15 points and knowing that I had a good game,'' Iverson said. ``Before, even if I only had 20 points, I didn't think I was doing my job.''
Rashard Lewis led the Magic with 23 points. Dwight Howard added 18 points and 18 rebounds.
At Oklahoma City, Jason Richardson scored 20 points and reserve Matt Barnes had 19 as Phoenix snapped a four-game road losing streak. Phoenix held Oklahoma City scoreless for the first 5 minutes of the fourth quarter and forced eight of the Thunder's 15 turnovers in the final period to put away the game.
O'Neal believes the Suns should lean on him more often, even if Nash and Stoudemire are in the mix.
``I've been doing that my whole career and I think that's how this team should play, especially the way I'm shooting free throws now. It should be an inside-outside game,'' said O'Neal, who went 8-for-12 from the line.
``I've been in the league 15 years and I've been in (the finals) six times, and that's the way you get there. I think once we do that and develop some consistency and stop turning the ball over, then we'll be all right.''
Wizards 89, Rockets 87
Antawn Jamison scored a season-high 30 points, Andray Blatche added 16 points and eight rebounds and Washington snapped a five-game road losing streak.
Jamison also grabbed 12 rebounds and Nick Young added 14 points as the Wizards ended a seven-game losing streak to the Rockets and won in Houston for the first time since 2001.
Ron Artest scored 20 points, but also had six turnovers for the Rockets, who had a seven-game home winning streak snapped by the worst team in the Eastern Conference.
Hawks 109, Nuggets 91
Joe Johnson scored 25 points and Atlanta completed an eight-game homestand, its longest of the season, with a 7-1 record, including five straight wins.
The Hawks (20-10) reached 20 wins before New Year's Day for the first time since the 1987-88 season. Atlanta plays Tuesday at Indiana in its final game of 2008.
Bulls 100, Nets 87
assists, Ben Gordon scored 24 points, and Chicago snapped a 13-game losing streak in New Jersey.
Andres Nocioni and Larry Hughes each added 17 points for the Bulls, who won for only the fourth time in 18 road games this season. It was Chicago's first win in New Jersey since 2001.
Vince Carter scored 31 points and Devin Harris added 26 for the Nets, who fell to 5-12 at home, the second-worst mark in the Eastern Conference. The Nets are 10-4 on the road.
Timberwolves 108, Grizzlies 98, OT
Al Jefferson scored a season-high 38 points, including nine in overtime, and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead Minnesota to the home victory.
Jefferson scored the Timberwolves' first seven points in overtime, helping them overcome the efforts of rookie scoring leader O.J. Mayo - who was picked and traded by Minnesota on draft night.
Mayo had 23 points and Kyle Lowry finished with a career-high 12 assists, but Memphis lost its second consecutive overtime game and sixth in its last seven overall.
Jazz 112, 76ers 95
Deron Williams scored 27 points to help short-handed Utah win with two of its top three scorers out with injuries and Mehmet Okur limited with a sore back.
Okur, who missed the last two games with back spasms, had 19 points and 10 rebounds. Andrei Kirilenko, filling in for injured power forwards Carlos Boozer and Paul Millsap, had 16 points and 13 rebounds.
and Thaddeus Young each scored 17 points for Philadelphia, which dropped its fourth straight and is winless on its six-game road trip with three remaining.
Warriors 117, Raptors 111
Stephen Jackson scored 30 points, Marco Belinelli added five 3-pointers and 23 points, and the Warriors won for just the third time in 11 games.
Golden State had just enough fourth-quarter offense to stop the Raptors, who finished a tough six-game holiday road trip with four losses.
Chris Bosh had 30 points and 14 rebounds for Toronto, hitting a 3-pointer with 3:29 left to pull the Raptors within two points. Jose Calderon added 21 points and 16 assists, but the Raptors missed several open 3-pointers in the final minutes, perhaps finally running out of energy after 12 days on the road.