Thu, Dec 09, 2004 - Page 20 News List

Kobe jinxes LA's hopes for Malone

NATIONAL EGO ASSOCIATION Bryant told XTRA radio that he didn't believe Karl Malone, who is recovering from knee surgery, would come back with the Lakers

AP , LOS ANGELESAP, CLEVELAND, OHIOAP, MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTAAND HOUSTON, TEXAS

At 12-6, the Cavaliers have the best record in the NBA's Eastern Conference -- the first time they've had that distinction after 15 games since March 21, 1989, when they were 48-17.

The Nets pulled within 100-97 on Jason Collins' tip with 30.9 seconds to go, but James fed Harris in the right corner and the shooting guard, who spent seven seasons with the Nets before signing with Cleveland as a free agent last summer, drilled his 3.

Mavericks 97, Timberwolves 87

In Minneapolis, Dirk Nowitzki scored 34 points, including 23 in the second half as Dallas snapped Minnesota's five-game winning streak. Josh Howard had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Mavericks, who overcame the early ejection of coach Don Nelson and outrebounded Minnesota 54-35 to win for the third time in four games.

Rockets 89, Hornets 81

In Houston, Yao Ming scored 21 points and had nine rebounds, and backup point guard Andre Barrett scored 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter as Houston downed New Orleans.

Tracy McGrady had his second straight poor shooting night, shooting just 7-of-19 -- including 1-of-8 from 3-point range -- to finish with 18 points.

David Wesley led New Orleans with 18 points.

Suns 118, Warriors 104

In Phoenix, Steve Nash had 11 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, when Phoenix rallied from seven points down to beat Golden State.

Amare Stoudemire had 33 points and 11 rebounds, Shawn Marion had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Joe Johnson chipped in 20 points as the Suns won for the 12th time in 13 games.

Jason Richardson had a season-high 32 points and 10 rebounds.

Kings 109, Bobcats 92

In Sacramento, California, Peja Stojakovic had season highs of 30 points and 12 rebounds, and Brad Miller had 27 points as Sacramento beat Charlotte for its 12th victory in 13 games.

With Chris Webber sitting out to rest his sore left knee, Darius Songaila matched his career high with 17 points and 11 rebounds in Sacramento's fifth straight win.

Bobby Jackson scored 16 points for the Kings, who took charge early in their first meeting with the expansion Bobcats. Sacramento had a 15-0 run spanning halftime and easily held on for its ninth win in 10 home games this season.

New acquisition Kareem Rush scored 14 points in his debut with the Bobcats, who kept it close despite having just nine players in uniform one night after a double-overtime loss to the Clippers.

Latrell Sprewell was suspended for one game by the NBA on Tuesday for yelling a sexual vulgarity at a female fan during a game.

The Minnesota Timberwolves swingman's comment to a heckler was picked up by a courtside microphone and could be heard on broadcasts of the team's game against the Clippers on Saturday.

All-Star game

Houston was awarded the 2006 NBA All-Star game Tuesday, the second time the city will host the midseason event.

"Houston has distinguished itself as a sports center," commissioner David Stern said.

The city has already hosted the Super Bowl and baseball's All-Star game this year.

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