SCOREBOARD
Thursday, Dec. 20
New Jersey at Miami (7:30 p.m. EST). The Heat (7-18) own the worst record in the Eastern Conference.

STARS
Wednesday
-Rudy Gay, Grizzlies, hit a 3-pointer as time expired to give Memphis an 88-85 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
-Chauncey Billups, Pistons hit two free throws with one-tenth of a second left to give Detroit an 87-85 win over the Celtics.
-Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks, scored 31 points - including the Mavericks' final eight - giving Dallas a 108-105 win over the Suns.
-Chris Paul, Hornets, scored 21 points and had 15 assists in a 107-93 win over the Sonics.

DOWN TO EARTH
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.

BEAT THE CLOCK
Rudy Gay hit a 3-pointer over Tim Duncan as time expired to give the Memphis Grizzlies an 88-85 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night. 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. It's the first time the Spurs have dropped three in a row away from home since April 2005.

WESTERN CLASH
Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 points, including the Mavericks' final eight, giving Dallas just enough to hold off the Suns 108-105 Wednesday night in yet another intense, entertaining game between the Western Conference rivals. The Mavs have won four straight and six of seven, enough to tighten the top of the Western Conference standings. Dallas is 18-9, narrowly behind Phoenix (18-8) and San Antonio (18-7).

STRONG IN DEFEAT
Steve Nash had 18 assists in the Suns' 108-105 loss to the Mavericks on Wednesday night. ... LeBron James had 32 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Cleveland in a 108-90 loss to the New York Knicks.

SPEAKING
``It was wild and woolly out there. Bodies were flying everywhere. I've got to give them credit, they got this one. They were the aggressors from the start, we came back, but we couldn't get over the hump.'' - Suns coach Mike D'Antoni on a 108-105 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.

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