Yao boosts Rockets

Posted: Monday, March 08, 2004

HOUSTON Yao Ming scored 29 points, including five in the final 45 seconds, and the Rockets snapped theirsix-game losing streak against the Mavericks.

Dallas lost its third game in a row but almost fought back against the Rockets, who had to overcome 30 turnovers. Dirk Nowitzki had nine of Dallas' 20 steals.

Yao's basket and free throw broke the final tie and gave Houston a 95-92 lead with 15 seconds left. A 3-pointer by Antoine Walker with 4.2 seconds left cut Houston's lead to 98-97, before two free throws by Clarence Weatherspoon and one by Cuttino Mobley provided Houston's final points.

Raptors 84, Hornets 76

TORONTO Vince Carter had 26 points, including a buzzer-beater from beyond halfcourt at the end of the third quarter, and the Toronto Raptors ended a seven-game home losing streak with a 84-76 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday.

Carter capped a 19-4 run by making his 41-foot 3-pointer that hit off the backboard.

Toronto native Jamaal Magloire had a career-high 21 rebounds and 23 points for the Hornets, who have lost six of nine.

Chris Bosh had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors, losers of 11 of their previous 12 games.

Knicks 99, Wizards 86

WASHINGTON Stephon Marbury had 24 points and 13 assists, and the Knicks' frontcourt controlled the boards.

Marbury had six points and an assist in a 12-0 run that spanned the third and fourth quarters and put the Knicks firmly in control. Allan Houston added 23 points as the Knicks won their third straight following six-game losing streak.

Gilbert Arenas scored 28 points, and Juan Dixon had 25 as the Wizards' backcourt held its own, but Washington was outrebounded 35-23 through three quarters including 11-4 on the offensive boards.

Knicks rookie reserve Mike Sweetney grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds, four more than his previous high. The Wizards also had no answer for big men Nazr Mohammed (15 points, seven rebounds) and Tim Thomas (18 points).

Lakers 94, Nets 88

LOS ANGELES Shaquille O'Neal went 10-of-14 from the foul line and scored 32 points in the Lakers' first game since Kobe Bryant went out with a shoulder injury.

Gary Payton added 18 points for the Lakers, while Bryant and the team's other injured star, Karl Malone, watched from the bench.

The Nets' Jason Kidd missed his fourth straight game because of bruised left knee, hurt in a 100-83 loss to the Lakers in New Jersey on Feb. 29.

The Lakers took control in the fourth quarter of what had been a tight game. O'Neal's three-point play capped an 8-2 spurt that increased the Lakers' lead to 90-79 with 2:44 remaining. The Nets went 5:36 without a field goal and shot 6-for-24 in the fourth quarter.

Kings 107, Magic 90

ORLANDO, Fla. Peja Stojakovic scored 12 of his 28 points in the third quarter, and the Sacramento Kings shook off their early sluggishness to defeat the Magic.

Mike Bibby had 26 points, while Brad Miller added 22 with 12 rebounds. Sacramento, the NBA leader in assists, had 30 on 38 field goals. The Kings also made all 24 of their foul shots.

Celtics 80, Timberwolves 77

MINNEAPOLIS Jiri Welsch scored 18 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter, to lead Boston to its fifth consecutive victory.

Chris Mihm had 11 points and eight rebounds off the bench and Chucky Atkins added 12 points for Boston, which has won five straight after losing 12 of its first 13 games under interim head coach John Carroll.

Pistons 86, SuperSonics 65

SEATTLE Rasheed Wallace scored 18 points and the Detroit Pistons became the first team in the NBA's shot-clock era to hold three consecutive opponents under 70 points.

Grizzlies 95, Warriors 85

OAKLAND, Calif. Jason Williams scored 13 of his 17 points during a decisive third-quarter run in the Memphis Grizzlies' fifth straight victory.

Bonzi Wells had 18 points for the Grizzlies, who have won 14 of 17 to move within a half-game of Dallas for fifth place in the Western Conference playoff race. Memphis put on a show against the injury-depleted Warriors, falling behind by 12 in the third quarter before making a dynamic 30-7 run.

Clippers 91, Trail Blazers 71

LOS ANGELES Elton Brand had 21 points and 14 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers overcame an injury to Quentin Richardson to end a four-game losing streak.

Corey Maggette had 18 points and a career-high nine assists for the Clippers, one night after eclipsing his previous career best in assists with seven.

Pacers 103, Nuggets 94

DENVER The Indiana Pacers won their fifth straight game and clinched a playoff berth with a 103-94 victory Sunday night over the Denver Nuggets.

Jermaine O'Neal had 31 points and 10 rebounds and Anthony Johnson added 21 points.

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