NBAWinning with Allen Iverson was difficult enough. Now the Philadelphia 76ers are learning how tough it is to get a victory without their disgruntled star.
Dwight Howard scored 28 points and Grant Hill added 23 on Saturday night, leading the Orlando Magic to an 86-84 victory that extended Philadelphia's losing streak to seven games.
The 76ers played for the second straight night without Iverson, who was sent home before Friday night's home loss against Washington and told he would not make the trip to Orlando, either.
After Kyle Korver cut Philadelphia's deficit 85-84, the 76ers wasted two opportunities to tie or take the lead when Chris Webber and Kevin Ollie attempted difficult shots that failed to even hit the rim. Webber, who had 19 points and 11 rebounds, felt he was fouled when he drove the lane with 10.4 seconds left.
Rockets 114, Wizards 109
At Washington Yao Ming scored 23 of his season-high 38 points in the fourth quarter and Houston ended Washington's winning streak at three games.
Tracy McGrady had 28 points for Houston before leaving the game in the fourth quarter clutching his back. Rafer Alston added 12 points for the Rockets in their fourth straight victory over Washington.
Knicks 115, Bucks 107
At New York, Eddy Curry powered his way to a career-high 36 points to lead New York to its third win in 11 home games.
Overwhelming the smaller Milwaukee frontcourt, Curry surpassed the 20-point mark for his ninth straight game. He shot 17-of-24 from the floor and scored 14 points in the third quarter, when the Knicks opened a 17-point lead by outscoring the Bucks 36-22.
Cavaliers 107, Pacers 75
At Cleveland, LeBron James scored 24 of his 27 points in the first half and Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 15 to lead Cleveland.
James had seven rebounds, six assists and spent the entire fourth quarter relaxing on the bench. The Cavaliers built a 24-point lead in the first half and coasted to their most lopsided win this season.
Donyell Marshall added a season-high 17 rebounds for the Cavs, who outrebounded Indiana 57-34.
Celtics 92, Nets 90
At East Rutherford, New Jersey, Paul Pierce hit a buzzer-beater and Boston rallied from an early 20-point deficit to snap a five-game losing streak.
Al Jefferson had 29 points and 14 rebounds for the Celtics, who trailed 22-2 in the first quarter. Pierce had 17 points and Delonte West 16.
Clippers 89, Grizzlies 82
At Memphis, Tennessee, Elton Brand scored 26 points and had a strong defensive effort to help Los Angeles get its first road victory of the season. The Clippers, the last NBA team without a road win, were 0-7 away from Staples Center.
The Grizzlies shot just 62 percent from the free-throw line and Brand limited Memphis leading-scorer Hakim Warrick to eight points -- less than half of his 16.5-point season average.
Timberwolves 91, Bulls 81
At Chicago, Kevin Garnett scored 18 points to help Minnesota snap Chicago's seven-game winning streak.
The Timberwolves built a 21-point lead in the third quarter and withstood a push by the Bulls on the way to their fourth straight victory.
Mavericks 105, Nuggets 90
At Dallas, Josh Howard matched his career high with 30 points, and Dirk Nowitzki added 25 to lead Dallas.
Jason Terry scored 14 of his 24 points in the first quarter to help the Mavericks build leads of as many as 18 points in the opening 12 minutes.
Carmelo Anthony had 18 points on 8-for-26 shooting for Denver. J.R. Smith also scored 18 points for the Nuggets.
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