Francis leads Magic past Washington

Posted: Sunday, January 30, 2005

WASHINGTON — Steve Francis scored 32 points, and the Washington Wizards missed crucial free throws down the stretch, giving the Orlando Magic a 103-97 victory Saturday night and a sweep of back-to-back games between the Southeast Division contenders.

Francis made an off-balance, turnaround 14-footer with 24 seconds left to put the Magic ahead for good. He was 13-for-26 with nine rebounds and seven assists.

After Francis' basket, Brendan Haywood had a chance to tie with 19 seconds remaining when he drew a foul in a fight for a rebound, but he badly missed both free throws. The Wizards were 12-for-13 from the line in the fourth quarter before Haywood's attempts.

Pistons 91, Knicks 61

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Richard Hamilton scored 18 points and Detroit held slumping New York to its lowest point total of the season.

Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess each scored 16 points for the Pistons, who moved into a first-place tie with Cleveland in the Central Division with their third straight win.

Jamal Crawford scored 14 for the Knicks, who have lost 12 of their last 14 games. Stephon Marbury didn't score until early in the second quarter and finished with just 10 points, half his average.

Nuggets 95, Pacers 88

INDIANAPOLIS — Kenyon Martin scored 25 points and had five steals and Denver won its second straight under new coach George Karl.

It was the fourth straight loss for the Pacers and their first at home against the Nuggets in 10 years.

Denver won its first game under Karl on Friday night, rallying to win in Milwaukee.

Martin injured his groin in that game and was listed as questionable for Saturday night, but helped the Nuggets get a quick start with 14 points in the first half.

Grizzlies 84, Hawks 83

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Jason Williams scored 23 points and had eight assists, Mike Miller added 21 points, and Memphis Grizzlies hung on to beat travel-weary Atlanta.

Tyronn Lue's fallaway 10-footer at the horn for Atlanta bounced off the rim, sending the Hawks to their fourth straight loss.

Nets 99, Jazz 82

SALT LAKE CITY — Vince Carter made his first five shots on his way to 30 points and New Jersey won its season-high third straight.

Carter was 5-for-5 from 3-point range and scored on a variety of drives to the basket as New Jersey never trailed. It was Carter's second straight 30-point game.

76ers 93, Mavericks 89

DALLAS — John Salmons scored a season-high 19 points and Kyle Korver had 16 as Philadelphia won without Allen Iverson.

Iverson, leading the NBA in scoring at 29 per game, missed his third straight game due to a strained left rotator cuff.

The Sixers compensated with solid defense that limited the Mavericks to 36.7 percent field goal shooting (33-for-90).

Celtics 101, Bulls 97

CHICAGO — Ricky Davis scored eight fourth-quarter points to spark a late rally and Gary Payton hit the go-ahead 3-pointer for Boston, which snapped Chicago's five-game winning streak.

The surprising Bulls finished January 13-3, two of the losses to the Celtics. Davis scored 24 points and Payton had 23. Leading scorer Paul Pierce shot just 2-of-12 from the field but had 18, thanks to a 13-for-17 showing from the free-throw line.

Spurs 93, Hornets 83

SAN ANTONIO — Tony Parker scored 23 points and had 10 assists, and the San Antonio Spurs improved to 23-1 at home.

The Hornets, sporting the NBA's worst record at 8-35, trailed by only four points after three quarters.

But the Spurs opened the fourth with an 8-0 run as New Orleans missed its first 10 shots.

Clippers 96, Warriors 85

LOS ANGELES — Elton Brand overcame early foul trouble to score 27 points and the Clippers completed their first season sweep of the Warriors.

Sixth-man Zeljko Rebraka scored 17 of his season-high 19 points in the first half and had a career-high 16 rebounds. Bobby Simmons, who shot only 7-for-26 in his previous game, was 3-for-15 this time and finished with 11 points.

This is the first time the Clippers have swept a season series of four games or more since taking all four from the San Antonio Spurs and Vancouver Grizzlies in 1996-97.

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