Kings again the top guns out West

Posted: Monday, February 23, 2004

TORONTO Peja Stojakovic scored 27 points and Mike Bibby had 21 to lead the Sacramento Kings past the short-handed Toronto Raptors 96-81 Sunday for their sixth win in seven games.

Bibby had 18 points in the second half for Kings, who were without injured center Brad Miller, suspended forward Chris Webber and injured guard Bobby Jackson.

Chris Bosh had 20 points for the Raptors, who tied a season-high with their fifth straight loss. Toronto is in danger of falling out of the playoff race after losing Vince Carter and Jalen Rose to injuries.

With the win, Sacramento returned to the top spot in the Western Conference, one game ahead of Minnesota, which lost to San Antonio Sunday.

Cavaliers 92, Knicks 86

NEW YORK LeBron James scored 22 points in his first game at Madison Square Garden, where the fans turned on the home team as the New York Knicks fell behind by 23 points in the fourth quarter.

Whether they were booing or chanting the name of the departed Keith Van Horn, the matinee crowd let it be known that they weren't happy seeing the Knicks play so poorly. The loss was the fourth in five games for New York, which now embarks on a four-game Western road trip.

James didn't have his flashiest or most productive game, stepping aside to let center Zydrunas Ilgauskas carry most of the offensive load. Ilgauskas had 31 points and 15 rebounds, Carlos Boozer added 14 points and 17 rebounds and Jeff McInnis scored 13 points.

Stephon Marbury shot just 4-for-21 in the first three quarters and finished 13-for-34 for 30 points for the Knicks.

Spurs 94, Timberwolves 92

MINNEAPOLIS Tony Parker had 26 points, and Tim Duncan made 7 of 8 free throws in the fourth quarter to finish with 25 points and help the Spurs snap Minnesota's five-game winning streak and pull to within three games of the Timberwolves in the Midwest Division.

Hedo Turkoglu had 13 points all in the second half and a career-high 14 rebounds, and Manu Ginobili added 11 points for San Antonio. Duncan, a notoriously bad free-throw shooter, helped win the game by making three of four free throws in the final 18.1 seconds.

Kevin Garnett led Minnesota with 28 points and 10 rebounds.

Pacers 94, Jazz 80

INDIANAPOLIS Jermaine O'Neal had 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks to help the Indiana Pacers pull away in the fourth quarter.

O'Neal shot just 4-of-10 from the field but hit 13-of-15 free throws as the Pacers repeatedly went inside in the second half and won for the fifth time in six games. Al Harrington, starting in place of the injured Ron Artest, scored 14 points, and reserves Austin Croshere and Jonathan Bender added 15 and 11, respectively.

Andrei Kirilenko scored 22 points and Raja Bell added 21 for Utah, which lost for the fourth time in five games including three of four on its road trip.

Bucks 113, Wizards 85

WASHINGTON Michael Redd scored 25 points to help Milwaukee snap a seven-game road losing streak.

Keith Van Horn, playing his second game since the three-way trade that brought him from New York, came off the bench to score 13 points in the Bucks' first road win since Jan. 5.

Lakers 104, Suns 92

PHOENIX Kobe Bryant scored 16 of his 40 points in the fourth quarter, helping give the Lakers their first four-game winning streak since December.

SuperSonics 108, Celtics 87

SEATTLE Rashard Lewis scored 28 points, hitting six 3-pointers, in the SuperSonics' first victory since the All-Star break.

Ray Allen added 20 points and 10 assists for Seattle, which was 18-of-33 from 3-point range. Paul Pierce had 34 points for Boston.

Magic 87, Pistons 86

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. Juwan Howard's three-point play with 3.5 seconds left lifted Orlando past Detroit.

Rockets 123, Hawks 121 (3 OT)

HOUSTON Yao Ming scored a career-high 41 points, including eight in the last of three overtimes, to help the Houston Rockets beat the Atlanta Hawks 123-121 on Sunday night.

Cuttino Mobley added 28 points, and Steve Francis had 16, including nine in the overtimes.

In the third overtime, Yao scored Houston's first six points, but Jim Jackson tied it with one of two free throws with 47 seconds remaining, and Bob Sura scored with 37 seconds to go to give the Hawks a 122-120 lead. Yao then hit a short jumper with 23 seconds left and Mobley made one of two free throws with 8 seconds to play.

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