Grizzlies hold off gritty Pacers

Posted: Sunday, March 21, 2004

MEMPHIS, Tenn. James Posey scored 16 points, including seven in the closing two minutes, to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 99-95 victory Saturday night over the Indiana Pacers.

Posey's three-point play with 1:29 remaining came late in a 12-0 run that gave the Grizzlies a 97-90 lead. A layup by Ron Artest, a steal by Al Harrington and a 3-pointer by Jamaal Tinsley made it 97-95.

Indiana got a chance to go for a tie or the win after Jason Williams missed a jumper with 19 seconds left, but Reggie Miller missed a short running jumper with seven seconds to go. Posey drew a foul and ended the scoring by hitting two free throws.

Pau Gasol and Stromile Swift had 17 points each for Memphis.

The Pacers were led by Jermaine O'Neal with 28 points.

Spurs 103, Celtics 87

SAN ANTONIO Tim Duncan marked his return to San Antonio's starting lineup with 26 points and 15 rebounds, and the Spurs beat the Celtics for the 12th straight time.

Manu Ginobili added 26 points in 24 minutes for San Antonio, which narrowed Minnesota's lead in the Midwest Division to 1 1/2 games.

After missing nine games with a knee injury, Duncan came off the bench for the first time in his NBA career in the Spurs' victory over the Timberwolves on Thursday.

Bulls 87, Knicks 81

CHICAGO Jamal Crawford hit a baseline jumper with 3.6 seconds left, completing a 25-point effort and sealing the Bulls' win.

Crawford and Eddy Curry, who had 25 points on 9-for-11 shooting to go with 14 rebounds, helped Chicago to its 20th victory.

Kurt Thomas paced the Knicks with 17 points. New York, which dropped a half-game behind Miami for sixth place in the Eastern Conference, played without injured guard Allan Houston and lost Tim Thomas to a groin strain after the first quarter.

Jazz 87, Hawks 81

ATLANTA Andrei Kirilenko and Raja Bell each scored 18 points, and the Utah Jazz won for the fifth time in seven games.

Utah won its second straight to move into a tie with Denver for the eighth and final Western Conference spot. The Nuggets, who own the tiebreaker, were idle and play Sunday at Minnesota.

Bob Sura had 19 points to lead the Hawks, who have lost two straight, four of five and eight of 10. Atlanta had won two straight at home against the Jazz, but Utah won for the 10th time in the teams' last 12 matchups.

Heat 101, 76ers 69

MIAMI Dwyane Wade and Eddie Jones scored 17 points apiece to lead the Miami Heat to their fourth consecutive victory and seventh in eight games.

The 76ers have lost four in a row to fall further back in the race for the final playoff spot in the East.

The Heat proved once again that when they are healthy, they are one of the Eastern Conference's best teams. They improved to 14-7 with a starting lineup of Wade, Jones, Caron Butler, Lamar Odom and Brian Grant.

Suns 123, Bucks 111

PHOENIX Amare Stoudemire scored 27 points and the Phoenix Suns reached a season high in points and broke a five-game home losing streak.

The victory was the Suns' 16th in a row at home over the slumping Bucks. Overall, the Suns have won only seven of their last 27 games, while Milwaukee has lost seven of eight.

Joe Johnson added 21 points for the Suns, Shawn Marion had 19 points and nine rebounds, rookie Maciej Lampe scored a season-high 17 and Casey Jacobsen had 12.

Joe Smith tied a season high in leading the Bucks with 19 points.

Trail Blazers 92, Magic 73

PORTLAND, Ore. Derek Anderson scored 24 points and Theo Ratliff added 14 points and six blocked shots.

The win moved Portland within a half-game of Denver and Utah in the race for the final Western Conference playoff spot.

The Magic were without All-Star swingman Tracy McGrady, who left the team to attend his great-grandmother's funeral.

The Magic, an NBA-worst 33 games below .500, have trouble winning with their best player. Without him, they stood little chance of avoiding their fourth straight loss.

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