Saturday , Apr , 08 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

National Basketball Association Game Capsules

Orlando, FL (Sports Network) – Jameer Nelson scored the final four points of
the contest, including a fadeaway jump shot over Tayshaun Prince with just 6.5
seconds remaining, to give the Orlando Magic a thrilling 89-87 victory over
the Detroit Pistons. Nelson finished the contest 4-of-8 from the floor.
Hedo Turkoglu led the Magic with 26 points, but was helped off the court at
the end of regulation after falling awkwardly going after a rebound. X-Rays on
Turkoglu’s right knee were negative, but he will have a precautionary MRI
Saturday to determine if there is any extensive damage. Dwight Howard added
12 points and 15 rebounds for the Magic, who have won seven of their last
eight games. Tony Battie contributed 11 points, while Carlos Arroyo tallied
10 points in the win, as Orlando won its ninth in a row at the TD Waterhouse
Centre. Chauncey Billups led the Pistons, who were playing without
leading scorer Richard Hamilton, with 25 points and eight assists.
Hamilton missed the contest due to a death in his family. Delk tallied 18
points off the bench for Detroit, which had a six-game winning streak
snapped, while Tayshaun Prince chipped in 15 points.

Final Score: Boston 109, Philadelphia 99

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Paul Pierce had 33 points, 12 rebounds
and six assists to lead the Boston Celtics to a 109-99 victory over the
Philadelphia 76ers at the Wachovia Center. Gerald Green had 17 points and
Tony Allen ended the game with 16 for the Celtics, who have won two of their
last three games and now trail Chicago by 3 1/2 games for the final playoff
spot in the Eastern Conference with six games left to play. Allen Iverson had
37 points and five assists and Chris Webber added 18 points and 11 boards for
the Sixers, who have dropped three straight and are one game back of Chicago.

Final Score: Atlanta 114, Washington 101

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – Josh Smith had 25 points, eight rebounds and
four blocks as the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Washington Wizards, 114-101, at
Philips Arena. Joe Johnson posted 20 points and seven assists and Zaza
Pachulia totaled 16 points and eight boards for the Hawks, who have won two
straight games. Josh Childress finished with 12 points in the contest. Despite
hurting his back at the end of the first quarter, Gilbert Arenas had a game-
high 41 points and also dished out seven assists and Antawn Jamison
contributed 24 points and seven rebounds for the Wizards, who were playing
without Caron Butler (sprained thumb) and Antonio Daniels (sprained
wrist). Brendan Haywood registered a double-double with 11 points and 10
boards in the loss, Washington’s first in its last three games. Washington
has a 2 1/2 game lead over the Milwaukee Bucks for the fifth spot in
the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Bucks lost to the Memphis
Grizzlies, 100-90.

Final Score: New York 98, Indiana 96

New York, NY (Sports Network) – Jamal Crawford hit the game-winning basket
with under a second left to lift the New York Knicks over the Indiana Pacers,
98-96, at Madison Square Garden. Crawford, who also hit the game-winning
bucket on Wednesday in a 96-94 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, ended
with 25 points. Nate Robinson added 16 points, scoring nine in the fourth
quarter, for the Knicks, who have won two in a row after losing nine straight.
Peja Stojakovic had 32 points and seven boards for the Pacers, who have lost
six of seven but remained just one-half game behind the Milwaukee Bucks for
the sixth playoff spot. The Bucks lost to the Memphis Grizzlies, 100-90, on
Friday night.

Final Score: Memphis 100, Milwaukee 90

Memphis, TN (Sports Network) – Pau Gasol had a game-high 33 points and 14
rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 100-90, at FedEx
Forum. Chucky Atkins posted 16 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter,
and six assists and Lorenzen Wright totaled 11 points and 10 boards for the
Grizzlies, who have won three in a row and are a half-game behind the Los
Angeles Clippers for the fourth spot in the Western Conference playoff race.
Michael Redd contributed 25 points and Andrew Bogut scored 18 points for the
Bucks, who have lost three straight and four of their last five contests.
Milwaukee is 2 1/2 games behind the Washington Wizards, who lost to the
Atlanta Hawks, for the fifth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Final Score: New Orleans/Oklahoma City 95, Toronto 89

Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) – David West scored 19 points and collected
nine rebounds to lead to the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets to a hard-
fought 95-89 victory over the Toronto Raptors. Chris Paul added 16 points
and eight assists for the Hornets, who have won five of their last six
contests. Linton Johnson tallied 13 points, while Speedy Claxton
contributed 11 points off the bench. Desmond Mason, who hadn’t played since
mid-March due to a sprained left knee, returned for the Hornets, who remained
two games behind the Sacramento Kings for the final playoff spot in the
Western Conference. Mike James poured in a game-high 36 points for Toronto,
which has lost seven consecutive games. Charlie Villanueva added 14 points
for the Raptors and also pulled down nine boards, but departed the contest
with flu-like symptoms. Morris Peterson was just 2-of-14 from the floor in
the game, but made 9-of-10 shots from the charity stripe to finish with 13
points.

Final Score: Dallas 92, San Antonio 86

San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) – Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 of his game-high 30
points in the second half, as the Dallas Mavericks inched closer to San
Antonio for the top spot in the Western Conference with a 92-86 victory over
the Spurs at the AT&T Center. Nowitzki also pulled down 10 rebounds for
Dallas, which moved within a game of the Spurs for the best record in the
conference and the Southwest Division. Josh Howard totaled 22 points and 10
rebounds for the Mavs, winners of three in a row after a three-game skid. Manu
Ginobili tallied 22 points to lead the Spurs, who have dropped back-to- back
contests for the first time since mid-February. Michael Finley and Nick Van
Exel each added 14 points, but San Antonio shot just 37.8 percent and
failed on a few opportunities in the closing two minutes.

Final Score: Utah 103, Minnesota 95

Minnesota, MN (Sports Network) – Carlos Boozer scored 30 points and grabbed
nine rebounds as Utah kept its slim playoff hopes alive with a 103-95 win
over Minnesota at the Target Center. Mehmet Okur totaled a double-double
with 19 points and 13 boards while Matt Harpring and Devin Brown each
chipped in 15 points for the Jazz. Utah is three games behind Sacramento
and the Lakers, who are deadlocked for seventh place in the Western
Conference. Justin Reed scored 18 points off the bench while Rashad McCants
had 17 points and Kevin Garnett totaled 14 points and 13 boards for the
Timberwolves, who have now dropped three straight games.

Final Score: Seattle 121, Portland 108

Portland, OR (Sports Network) – Ray Allen poured in 38 points to lead the
Seattle SuperSonics to a 121-108 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Chris Wilcox also had a solid performance, scoring 20 points to go along with
10 rebounds and six assists. Earl Watson added 19 points and eight assists for
Seattle, which has won three consecutive games for the first time since early
December. Allen went 4-of-6 from beyond the arc and moved into second place
on the all- time three-pointers made list with 1,723, passing Dale Ellis by
four. Reggie Miller is first with 2,560. Nick Collison tallied 13 points
off the bench. Luke Ridnour ended with 10 points, seven boards and six
assists, while Damien Wilkins also netted 10 points in the victory. Juan
Dixon led the Trail Blazers with 28 points, while Sebastian Telfair
contributed 15 points and six assists. Theo Ratliff scored 14 points for
Portland, which has lost 16 of its last 18 contests. Zach Randolph tallied 13
points, while Darius Miles chipped in 10 points in the setback.

Final Score: Phoenix 107, LA Lakers 96

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) – Steve Nash scored 25 points and Leandro
Barbosa added 23, as Phoenix overcame a 51-point performance from Kobe
Bryant to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers, 107-96, at US Airways Center. Seven
Suns scored in double figures to thwart Bryant’s virtuoso
performance. The guard’s 51 points were the most scored by a player in
the history of US Airways Arena — previously called America West Arena —
and the third most ever against the Suns. Ironically enough, Wilt
Chamberlain’s 66 points are the most ever tallied against Phoenix. Lamar Odom
added 17 points and 11 rebounds while Smush Parker contributed 14 points
in the team’s second straight loss. The Lakers have also lost seven
straight games against Phoenix, the longest losing streak against one team
in the franchise’s storied history. The loss pushed Los Angeles into a
tie for the seventh playoff spot in the Western Conference with
Sacramento, which defeated the Clippers, 96-93, on Friday night. Phoenix
reached the 50-win plateau behind a balanced scoring attack. Raja
Bell, Shawn Marion and Boris Diaw each tallied 12 points while Marion
also pulled down 14 rebounds. James Jones added 11 points and Eddie House
totaled 10 as Phoenix halted a two-game losing skid. The Suns’ magic number
to clinch the Pacific Division is two games.

Final Score: Houston 100, Golden State 93

Oakland, CA (Sports Network) – Yao Ming posted 30 points and 14 rebounds as
Houston dropped Golden State, 100-93, at The Arena in Oakland. Luther Head
scored 26 points for the Rockets, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
Rafer Alston scored 16 points and dished nine assists, while Juwan Howard
scored 12 points. Jason Richardson scored 29 points for the Warriors, who
have dropped seven straight games. Derek Fisher scored 17 points, and Troy
Murphy added 12 points and 12 rebounds. Mike Dunleavy notched nine points
and nine assists in the loss.

Final Score: Sacramento 96, LA Clippers 93

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Mike Bibby scored 30 points and
grabbed six rebounds as the Sacramento Kings defeated the Los Angeles
Clippers, 96-93, at Staples Center, denying the Clippers a chance to clinch
their first playoff berth since the 1996-97 season. Ron Artest scored 23
points, dished out six assists and made some key defensive stops down
the stretch for the Kings, who with the win and the Lakers 107-96 loss
to Phoenix, move into a seventh-place tie with the Lakers in the Western
Conference playoff race. Brad Miller chipped in 18 points and seven
rebounds while Bonzi Wells added nine points and 10 boards for the Kings,
who have now beaten the Clippers 13 straight times. Cuttino Mobley scored a
team-high 19 points while Elton Brand totaled a double-double with 17
points and 13 rebounds for the Clippers, who saw a modest two-game
wining streak snapped. Sam Cassell scored 17 points and snatched six
boards.