Nowitzki leads rout of Timberwolves

Posted: Monday, March 31, 2003

MINNEAPOLIS Dirk Nowitzki scored 33 points in 34 minutes as the Dallas Mavericks beat the lethargic Minnesota Timberwolves 119-95 Sunday.

Steve Nash had a season-high 15 assists to go with 14 points in three quarters, and reserve Nick Van Exel contributed 19 points and nine assists for the Mavericks, who led 100-71 after the third period.

Minnesota, equaling its season high with three straight losses, missed another chance to clinch a seventh straight playoff berth. Kevin Garnett had 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Wolves.

Raptors 95, Knicks 86

TORONTO Vince Carter scored 28 points as Toronto hurt the Knicks' slim playoff hopes.

Allan Houston had 24 points for the Knicks, who have lost three straight and four of five. Latrell Sprewell scored just four points and was benched for the entire fourth quarter when the Knicks cut a 19-point deficit to four.

Bucks 109, Heat 87

MILWAUKEE Gary Payton had 24 points and Sam Cassell had 23 points and nine assists as the Milwaukee Bucks snapped a three-game losing streak.

Toni Kukoc added 18 points, Michael Redd 14 and Desmond Mason had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Milwaukee, whose reserves outscored Miami's 47-25.

Rookie Caron Butler led the Heat with 24 points, Mike James added 15 and Eddie House 12, but it wasn't enough to keep the Heat from losing their 12th game in the last 16.

The Bucks (35-39) were coming off an 0-3 road trip and had lost eight of the last 10.

Pacers 92, Suns 81

INDIANAPOLIS Jermaine O'Neal had 24 points and 11 rebounds and Ron Artest had 20 points as the Indiana Pacers led by as many as 17.

The Pacers have won two straight games after dropping 15 of 19 to fall into fourth place in the Eastern Conference. They have two games left with teams ahead of them in the standings Detroit on April 4 and New Jersey on April 16.

The Pacers took control with one fast spurt late in the first half. The Suns pulled to 88-81 when Shawn Marion hit a running jumper with 1:21 left, but they wouldn't score again.

Pistons 99, Kings 88

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. The Detroit Pistons dominated when it mattered most, closing the game with a 15-1 run.

Cliff Robinson scored 21 points and Corliss Williamson had 15 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter for the Pistons, who trailed by 21 midway through the second quarter and by 10 after three quarters.

Detroit outscored Sacramento 14-3 to open the fourth quarter and take a 81-80 lead its first since the opening minutes with 7:32 left. The Kings went ahead 87-84 on Peja Stojakovic's layup with 5:08 left, but then scored only one point the rest of the way.

Spurs 92, Hornets 90

NEW ORLEANS Tim Duncan had 33 points and 12 rebounds, including a clinching 3-pointer in the final minute, as the San Antonio Spurs won their fifth straight .

Duncan's late 3, which came quickly off an inbounds play, gave San Antonio a 91-86 lead after P.J. Brown missed a shot he normally makes an open 14-foot jumper that could have tied the game.

Duncan set up the shot his sixth 3-pointer of the season by diving after a loose ball and calling timeout just before being tied up by Baron Davis.

SuperSonics 119, Lakers 98

SEATTLE Ray Allen scored 32 points and Rashard Lewis returned from a one-game injury absence to score 24 as the Seattle SuperSonics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 119-98 Sunday night.

Brent Barry added 15 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds, barely missing his first career triple-double for the second straight game. He had 14 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in Friday's 95-71 win over Memphis.

Nuggets 88, Wizards 72

DENVER Shammond Williams scored eight straight Denver points early in the fourth quarter and finished with 15 to pace six Nuggets in double figures, spoiling Michael Jordan's final appearance in Denver.

Jordan finished with 19 points for Washington, which shot only 35 percent. The loss damaged the Wizards' playoff hopes, dropping them one-half game behind Milwaukee in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Denver outscored Washington 28-13 in the third quarter to erase a 44-36 halftime deficit and take a 64-57 lead. With Denver leading 66-59 early in the final period, Williams hit a 3-pointer, followed by a 20-foot jumper and another 3-pointer for a 74-61 lead.

Clippers 102, Grizzlies 100

LOS ANGELES Corey Maggette scored six of his 18 points in the final 3:19 as the Los Angeles Clippers snapped a four-game losing streak.

In the first game of a two-night stand at Staples Center, the Grizzlies squandered their best chance to record the first winning month in the franchise's eight-year history. They are 8-7 in March with one game left against the NBA champion Lakers, who are 17-0 at home against the Grizzlies.

Rookie Chris Wilcox added 15 points for the Clippers, who won for only the sixth time in 28 games.

Mike Miller scored 29 points for the Grizzlies, who have lost five straight to the Clippers in Los Angeles.

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