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Suns stay in running for playoff spot

Posted: Sunday, April 06, 2003

PHOENIX -- Bo Outlaw had season highs of 19 points and 15 rebounds to help the Phoenix Suns improve their playoff chances with a 111-94 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday.

The Suns, who beat the Timberwolves for the first time in four tries this season, have won four of five overall to boost their lead to 1 1/2 games over idle Houston for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West with seven to play.

The Timberwolves have lost four of five to fall a game behind Portland for the No. 4 spot in the West and home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Minnesota plays at Portland Sunday night.

Kevin Garnett had 25 points and 17 rebounds for the Timberwolves.

Hawks 97, Grizzlies 91

ATLANTA -- Jason Terry scored 23 points and Dion Glover added 20 as the Atlanta Hawks sent the Memphis Grizzlies to their seventh straight loss.

The Hawks, eliminated from the Eastern Conference playoffs following Milwaukee's two-point victory Friday over Cleveland, never trailed after Terry hit two free throws with 1:58 remaining in the first quarter.

Pau Gasol had 25 points and 13 rebounds to lead Memphis, which has lost 10 of 12 after a 7-1 stretch last month.

Cavaliers 79, Hornets 76

CLEVELAND -- Ricky Davis scored 17 points, and Cleveland blocked 13 shots in a victory over New Orleans that assured the Cavaliers they won't set a new mark for the worst record in franchise history.

It was the 15th win of the season for Cleveland, which has six games remaining. The Cavaliers went 15-67 in their inaugural season of 1970-71 and in 1981-82.

Davis had three of the Cavaliers' season-high 13 blocks, and rookie Carlos Boozer had 15 rebounds and 13 points to help Cleveland snapped a five-game losing streak.

Jamal Mashburn scored 23 points, but made a critical turnover with 11.7 seconds to play and missed a 28-foot attempt with less than a second left that could have tied it. The Hornets lost for the fifth time in seven games.

Mavericks 108, Magic 90

DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki scored 29 points and Steve Nash added 28 as Dallas retained its lead in the Western Conference.

The Mavericks (57-19) hold a one-game advantage over San Antonio in the race for the top record in the Midwest Division -- and the Western Conference.

With the Magic's Tracy McGrady out of the starting lineup, the Mavericks took advantage by jumping out to a 28-9 lead 8 1/2 minutes in. McGrady didn't start because of a strained rib muscle on his right side, but checked in with 3:55 left in the first quarter.

McGrady, who scored 30 or more points in 14 consecutive games, was 3-of-14 for 12 points in 25 minutes before sitting out the fourth quarter. McGrady also had his franchise-record streak of 45 straight games of scoring 20 points or more snapped.

Bulls 117, Bucks 115, OT

CHICAGO -- Jalen Rose scored 31 points and Donyell Marshall had 19 points and 13 rebounds as Chicago erased a 19-point deficit in regulation and beat Milwaukee.

Jamal Crawford and Jay Williams each added 19 points for the Bulls, who ended a four-game losing streak and won in overtime for the first time in a franchise-record eight tries this season.

Gary Payton had 24 points and 10 assists, and reserve Michael Redd added 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Bucks, who hold a 2 1/2-game lead over Washington for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Clippers 109, Knicks 98

LOS ANGELES -- Elton Brand scored 29 points in his third game off the injured list, and Andre Miller scored seven of his 19 points in the final 3:16 as the Los Angeles Clippers put the New York Knicks one step closer to elimination from the playoff picture.

New York's fourth defeat in six games, coupled with Milwaukee's overtime loss at Chicago, left the Knicks one loss or one Milwaukee victory away from missing the postseason for the second straight season.

Latrell Sprewell led the Knicks with 29 points, and Clarence Weatherspoon had 12 points and 14 rebounds.



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