NEW YORK Stephen Jackson scored 33 points on his 27th birthday, and the Indiana Pacers beat the New York Knicks 97-79 Tuesday night despite poor shooting from Reggie Miller in his final appearance at Madison Square Garden.
Miller, who plans to retire, has long tormented the Knicks and their fans most notably film director Spike Lee with his clutch play in crucial games at the Garden. This time, however, he was 3-for-15 and finished with 13 points.
As the clock wound down in the final two minutes, the crowd chanted ''Reg-gie, Reg-gie.'' When the game ended, Miller walked across the court and embraced Lee, who had watched the game from his usual courtside seat.
Heat 104, Bulls 86
MIAMI Dwyane Wade matched his career-high with 39 points and the Heat easily overcame Shaquille O'Neal's absence because of a stomach ailment with a win that assured them the No. 1 seed and homecourt advantage for the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Udonis Haslem added 16 points and 15 rebounds before being ejected late for Miami, which has won 18 straight games at home the league's longest run since Sacramento won that many three seasons ago.
Clippers 104, Bobcats 102
CHARLOTTE, N.C. Shaun Livingston made a layup with 1 second to play, and Los Angeles handed the Bobcats their fifth final-shot loss of the season.
Corey Maggette had 34 points to lead the Clippers, and Elton Brand had 27 points and 10 rebounds. Livingston finished with 17 points.
Celtics 116, Wizards 108
WASHINGTON Boston blew a 16-point lead, but made all 17 of their free throws in the final quarter and beat the Wizards behind 25 points from Paul Pierce and 21 from Raef LaFrentz.
Gilbert Arenas made 21 free throws on 25 attempts both career highs and tied his career-high with 43 points for Washington. Antawn Jamison, activated from the injured list earlier in the day, scored 30 including 16 straight Wizards points in the third quarter.
Hornets 96, Hawks 86
ATLANTA Lee Nailon scored 19 points, and New Orleans extended Atlanta's losing streak to 13 games.
The Hornets snapped a five-game road losing streak despite not having a starter score in double figures.
Tom Gugliotta and Tony Delk had 18 points apiece for Atlanta, which also lost 13 straight from Feb. 10-March 9. The Hawks have lost 26 of their last 27 games.
Nets 111, Cavaliers 80
CLEVELAND Vince Carter scored 27 points, and New Jersey continued its push for a playoff berth.
Nenad Krstic scored 18 points and Jason Kidd had 13 points and 12 assists for the Nets, who won for the ninth time in 12 games.
LeBron James had 24 points for Cleveland.
Mavericks 114, Magic 105
DALLAS Erick Dampier scored 16 points in his first start since returning from a long stay on the injured list, helping the Mavericks to their fifth straight 50-win season.
Dampier was playing his third game after missing 21 while dealing with a stress fracture in his right foot.
Dirk Nowitzki had 21 points and nine rebounds for Dallas, but left the court with 3:39 left, went into the tunnel and doubled over in pain shortly after being undercut by Orlando guard Andre Barrett while going for a rebound.
DeShawn Stevenson scored a career-high 29 points, but Orlando fell 1 1/2 games behind Philadelphia for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and a half-game behind New Jersey.
Nuggets 94, Grizzlies 91
MEMPHIS, Tenn. Carmelo Anthony had 24 points and Kenyon Martin 20 as Denver took over seventh place in the Western Conference playoff race.
The victory put the Nuggets at 42-31 on the season. Eighth-place Memphis is 41-32. Denver also got 18 points from Andre Miller and 14 from Marcus Camby.
Memphis was led by Pau Gasol with 18 points and Mike Miller with 16.
Jazz 90, Trail Blazers 79
SALT LAKE CITY Matt Harpring had 17 points and seven rebounds, and Utah ended a three-game losing streak by beating struggling Portland.
Reserves Ben Handlogten and Kris Humphries added 11 points each, and the Jazz held off the short-handed Blazers, who had just nine players because of injuries.
Joel Przybilla had 13 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks for Portland, which lost its fifth in a row and 10th straight on the road.
Suns 125, Lakers 99
PHOENIX Quentin Richardson led Phoenix's record-setting 3-point barrage with seven, and the Suns knocked the defending Western Conference champion Lakers out of the playoffs for the first time in 11 years.
The Lakers, with Kobe Bryant resting his injured right leg, lost for the 12th time in 13 games.
Richardson had 25 points and 10 rebounds, and the Suns won their sixth straight. Amare Stoudemire scored 23 points and Shawn Marion had 22 and 12 rebounds. Marion and Leandro Barbosa, who scored 14 points, made four 3-pointers each as Phoenix set a franchise record with 17 from beyond the arc.
Kings 122, SuperSonics 101
SACRAMENTO, Calif. Peja Stojakovic scored 24 points and Cuttino Mobley had 21 for the Kings.
Kenny Thomas scored 20 points, and Mike Bibby had 15 points and 10 assists as the Kings made a season-high 58.8 percent of their shots. They also prevented the Sonics from clinching the Northwest Division title while scoring more points than any of Seattle's opponents this season.
Ray Allen scored 23 points and Damien Wilkins had 20 for the Sonics.
Warriors 122, Rockets 117
OAKLAND, Calif. Baron Davis scored 17 of his career-high 40 points in the third quarter, and finished with 13 assists as Golden State got its season-high sixth straight victory.
Jason Richardson added 20 points, including seven straight during one third-quarter spurt.
Tracy McGrady had 44 points and seven assists for the struggling Rockets, who have lost three straight and four of six.
Yao Ming added 23 points and 11 rebounds for Houston.
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