Phoenix rises to defeat Portland

Posted: Monday, January 19, 2004

PHOENIX Joe Johnson scored 25 points, including the go-ahead rebound basket with 18.1 seconds to play, and the Phoenix Suns handed the Portland Trail Blazers their fifth loss in a row, 96-92 Sunday night.

Johnson, averaging 20 points per game since Stephon Marbury and Penny Hardaway were traded to New York, has scored 20, 26 and 25 points in his last three games as the Suns matched their season-long winning streak at three.

The Blazers have lost nine of 10, including two to Phoenix in a five-day span.

Shawn Marion had 22 points and 16 rebounds, and Leandro Barbosa scored 20 for the Suns, who overcame 21 turnovers that resulted in 28 Portland points.

Zach Randolph scored 25 for the Blazers, on their longest losing streak in two seasons. Rasheed Wallace scored 19, but only six in the second half and none in the fourth quarter.

Portland led 92-90 after Randolph's three-point play with 2:26 to go, but missed its last eight shots, four of them by Wallace.

Spurs 109, Celtics 92

BOSTON Rasho Nesterovic had a season-high 23 points and 13 rebounds to help the San Antonio Spurs snap a three-game losing streak.

Tony Parker scored 20 points all by halftime and Tim Duncan added 15 points and seven rebounds for the Spurs.

Paul Pierce scored 19, Mark Blount added 15 and reserve Ricky Davis had 14 for Boston, which lost its fourth straight game.

San Antonio has beaten Boston 12 times in a row and is 18-1 against the Celtics since the 1993-94 season.

Nuggets 88, Heat 80

DENVER Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points on 12-for-17 shooting to lead the Denver Nuggets past the road-weary Miami Heat 88-80 Sunday night.

Rodney White scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter, helping the Nuggets thwart a Miami comeback that reduced a 14-point deficit to six.

Voshon Lenard added 18 points and Nene 17 for the Nuggets, who avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season.

Lamar Odom had 26 points for Miami, and Eddie Jones and Caron Butler each had 12.

It was the final game of Miami's longest road trip of the season, featuring six games in 10 days.

Odom's three-point play early in the fourth quarter cut Denver's lead to 68-62, but White then scored eight points during Denver's 14-6 run that pushed the lead to 82-68.

Miami countered with eight straight points, the final six by Jones, to make it 82-76 with 2:55 remaining.

Anthony made a driving layup to pad the lead to eight. After Odom's basket, White hit a jump hook for an 86-78 lead with 1:51 left.

Denver center Marcus Camby played nine minutes in the first quarter but didn't return because of tonsillitis.

Nene had 10 points in the quarter for the Nuggets, including four points during a 9-0 run that made it 24-10.

Anthony had eight points in the second quarter, including six straight Denver points, to help the Nuggets take a 51-40 lead at intermission.

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