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Hawks top Pacers

Posted: Sunday, March 23, 2003

ATLANTA -- Theo Ratliff blocked a potential game-winning dunk by Jermaine O'Neal in the final seconds Saturday night to help the Atlanta Hawks to a 92-89 victory over Indiana, sending the Pacers to their 11th consecutive road loss.

With 6.4 seconds remaining and Atlanta leading 90-89, O'Neal took an inbounds pass at the top of key and drove down the left side of the lane past Shareef Abdur-Rahim. O'Neal jumped for a dunk, but Ratliff, who was guarding Brad Miller, instead moved in for his ninth block.

Nets 107, Grizzlies 99

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Kerry Kittles scored 25 points, Jason Kidd had a season-high 18 assists and the New Jersey Nets rode a 64-point first half.

Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson added 17 points apiece for the Nets, who opened a 1 1/2-game lead over idle Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division.

Bucks 93, Hornets 85

MILWAUKEE -- Sam Cassell scored 11 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter Saturday as the Milwaukee Bucks gave George Karl his 700th win as an NBA coach.

The Bucks (34-36) took a one-game lead on idle Washington for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Bulls 100, Knicks 98

CHICAGO -- Eddy Curry scored a career-high 30 points and Jamal Crawford added 22 points and 10 assists.

The Knicks, trying to climb into the eighth playoff spot in the East, were playing their fourth game in five nights and shot only 39 percent.

The Bulls' fresher and younger legs were evident, especially those of Curry and Crawford in the fourth quarter when Chicago held off a late rally.

Mavericks 102, Suns 95

DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki scored 16 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter despite foul trouble, and Steve Nash had 27 points and 13 assists.

The Mavericks improved their league-best record to 52-17.

Shawn Marion had 21 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Suns, while Penny Hardaway had a season-high 21 points and Stephon Marbury added 20.

The Mavs trailed by seven entering the fourth quarter, but went ahead for good at 79-76 with 10:28 left on consecutive 3-pointers from Nowitzki and Walt Williams.

Jazz 91, Clippers 82

SALT LAKE CITY -- Andrei Kirilenko had 17 points and six blocked shots as the Utah Jazz held the Los Angeles Clippers to the lowest field goal percentage in franchise history.

Even though the Clippers shot 10-of-21 in the fourth quarter during garbage time, they finished at 26.3 percent (21-of-80). The previous franchise low was 26.8 percent against Houston on Feb. 28, 2000.

Matt Harpring scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Karl Malone added 13 as the Jazz won their third in a row.

Corey Maggette led Los Angeles with 13 points.

Kings 113, Trail Blazers 104

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Peja Stojakovic scored 30 points and Chris Webber had 25 points, 15 rebounds and six assists as the Sacramento Kings rode a dominant third quarter.

Mike Bibby added 23 points and eight assists for the Kings, who won their third in a row and eighth in 10 games.

The Kings put on a show in the third period, turning a four-point halftime deficit into a 16-point lead on the strength of 18-for-22 shooting for 42 points -- a season-high both for Sacramento offensively and the Blazers defensively.

Bibby, Webber and Stojakovic led the way, combining for 33 points in the period.

Rasheed Wallace had 31 points, six rebounds and four assists to lead the Blazers.

Nuggets 90, Celtics 80

DENVER -- Juwan Howard had 27 points and seven rebounds to lead the Denver Nuggets to their first win over the Boston Celtics in their last nine meetings.

Howard shot 11-for-18 and Nene Hilario added 16 points for the Nuggets, who last beat the Celtics on Nov. 15, 1996 in Boston.

Denver snapped a four-game losing streak.

Paul Pierce had 31 points for the Celtics, who lost their fourth straight. Antoine Walker added 21 but was scoreless in the second half.



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