Wed, Mar 30, 2005 - Page 19 News List

Mavericks beat slumping Pistons

AP , AUBURN HILLS, MICHIGAN

Josh Howard scored 24 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 22 as the Dallas Mavericks beat the slumping Detroit Pistons 95-88 on Monday night.

The Mavericks have won six of seven, while the defending champions lost for the fourth time in five games.

Reserve Keith Van Horn added 17 points for Dallas, while Chauncey Billups led the Pistons with 26 and Richard Hamilton added 21. The Mavericks reserves outscored Detroit's 26-2.

Pistons coach Larry Brown (surgery) missed his ninth straight game. The Pistons are 8-8 without Brown this year.

Nets 95, Bobcats 91

In Charlotte, North Carolina, Vince Carter scored 39 points and New Jersey hung on to beat the Bobcats.

Carter, who scored 15 of the Nets' 19 points in the first quarter, helped New Jersey snap a two-game losing streak. Nenad Krstic added 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Nets, who completed a four-game season sweep of the Bobcats.

Primoz Brezec had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Bobcats.

Magic 109, Hawks 102

In Orlando, Steve Francis had 30 points, 10 assists and six rebounds, and Grant Hill and Dwight Howard each had a double-double in just the Magic's second victory in 12 games.

The Magic snapped a three-game skid as they try to keep pace with Philadelphia and Indiana, who hold the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. Orlando had lost 10 of 11.

Hill had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Howard had 17 points and 11 boards.

With the league's worst record, the Hawks (11-59) have lost 11 straight games and 22 of their last 23.

Pacers 90, Bucks 76

In Milwaukee, Reggie Miller scored 12 of his 22 points in the third quarter to lead Indiana over Milwaukee.

Miller, who was ejected in the second quarter of a four-point loss Saturday at Chicago, made 5-of-7 3-pointers and sat out the entire fourth quarter as the Pacers held a comfortable lead. His night was definitely finished as he gave his shoes to a pair of Indiana fans with about 3 minutes left in the game.

Michael Redd had 14 points to lead the Bucks, who matched their season-high with a sixth straight loss. The victory was only Indiana's second win in Milwaukee over its last 10 visits.

Bulls 94, Grizzlies 86

In Chicago, Eddy Curry scored 25 points and the Bulls nearly blew an 18-point fourth quarter lead before beating the Grizzlies for their sixth straight victory.

Ben Gordon added 17 points for the Bulls, while Tyson Chandler had 14 rebounds and scored 13 points, including a pair of free throws with 12.4 seconds left to put Chicago up six.

Bonzi Wells scored 22 of his season-high 30 points in the second half, including 11 to spark a 21-5 Memphis run in the fourth quarter.

The Bulls (38-31) improved to a season-best seven games over .500 and are chasing the Wizards for the fourth playoff spot in the East.

Rockets 99, Jazz 85

In Salt Lake City, Tracy McGrady scored 44 points and Mike James had 14 of his 16 in the second half for Houston, which won for just the second time in the last 17 meetings at Utah.

Utah tried everything from switching defenders to changing defenses and nothing worked to stop McGrady. By the time he started missing in the fourth quarter, Houston already had a 12-point lead. McGrady made 14 of his first 17 shots and finished 15-for-21.

Mehmet Okur scored 25, Matt Harpring had 18 points and nine rebounds for Utah.

Suns 123, Nuggets 114

In Phoenix, Joe Johnson had eight points and Steve Nash five during a fourth-quarter run that carried Phoenix over Denver.

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