Friday , Mar , 25 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

National Basketball Association Game Capsules

Orlando, FL (Sports Network) – Emeka Okafor recorded his 36th double-double of
the season as the Charlotte Bobcats beat Orlando, 108-94, dealing another blow
to the Magic’s playoff aspirations. Okafor netted 23 points and pulled down 10
rebounds for Charlotte, which earned its second win in four days against
Orlando and won its second season series of the year after improving to 3-1
versus Orlando. The Bobcats also went 2-0 against Houston this season. Grant
Hill scored a game-high 28 points to lead the Magic, who are currently in
ninth place in the Eastern Conference playoff standings — 1-1/2 games behind
Philadelphia for the final postseason spot.

Final Score: Memphis 105, New Jersey 96

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) – Lorenzen Wright and Jason Williams each
scored 20 points, as the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the New Jersey Nets,
105-96, at Continental Airlines Arena. Wright also grabbed 10 rebounds, while
James Posey collected 12 points and seven boards for Memphis, which has won
nine of its last 12 games. Vince Carter paced the Nets with 22 points to go
along with eight assists. Nenad Krstic chipped in 21 points and six rebounds
for New Jersey, which had its five-game winning streak halted and fell two
games behind idle Philadelphia for the eighth and final playoff spot in the
Eastern Conference.

Final Score: Houston 99, Cleveland 80

Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Tracy McGrady scored 31 points to lead the
Houston Rockets to a 99-80 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Toyota
Center. Mike James added 15 points and Bob Sura tallied 12 points and 10
rebounds for Houston, which has won eight of its last 10 games. The Rockets
remain in sixth place in the Western Conference playoff race. Drew Gooden led
the Cavaliers with 20 points and LeBron James collected 19 points and eight
assists for Cleveland, which fell into a tie with idle Chicago for the fifth
playoff spot in the East.

Final Score: Denver 117, LA Lakers 96

Denver, CO (Sports Network) – Earl Boykins came off the bench to score 21
points, leading five players in double figures, as Denver routed the
struggling Lakers, 117-96, at the Pepsi Center. DerMarr Johnson added 20
points and Andre Miller contributed 18 for Denver, which won its fifth
straight despite being without the services of center Marcus Camby and power
forward Kenyon Martin due to injuries. Caron Butler paced Los Angeles with a
game-high 22 points. Kobe Bryant added 18 and Chucky Atkins scored 10 for the
reeling Lakers, who have dropped seven straight and 12 of their last 16 games
overall.

Final Score: Washington 85, Utah 84

Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) – Larry Hughes scored 25 points and hit
the go-ahead jumper with 46.4 seconds left to lift Washington to an 85-84
victory over Utah at the Delta Center. Gilbert Arenas poured in a game-high 29
points and dished out six assists for the Wizards, who earned their second
close victory over the Jazz in less than a week. Washington moved two games in
front of Cleveland and Chicago for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Matt Harpring finished with 18 points for the Jazz, who lost Andrei Kirilenko
for the season after the star forward broke his wrist just over three minutes
into the contest.

Final Score: Sacramento 109, Dallas 101

Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) – Peja Stojakovic scored a game-high 38 points
as the Sacramento Kings crowned the visiting Dallas Mavericks, 109-101, to
avoid a season-series sweep and gain a significant victory in the playoff
picture. The victory enabled Sacramento to remain in fifth place in the
Western Conference standings, three games behind fourth-place Dallas. The
Kings also stayed a game in front of No. 6 Houston, which beat Cleveland
Thursday. Leading Dallas, which had won four straight overall and four in a
row against Sacramento, was Dirk Nowitzki with 35 points and eight boards.

Final Score: Seattle 96, Portland 91

Portland, OR (Sports Network) – Damien Wilkins scored a career-high 21 points,
including the final seven of the game, to lead the Seattle SuperSonics to a
96-91 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden. Ray Allen
totaled 19 points and eight rebounds for Seattle, which has won four straight
and remains in the third playoff spot in the Western Conference. Jerome James
added 14 points in the victory. Damon Stoudamire led the Blazers with 19
points and hit five three-pointers. Derrek Anderson added 18 points for
Portland, which has now dropped seven straight contests.