Streaking Pacers Defeat Mavericks
The Indiana Pacers extended their winning streak to seven games and improved the NBA’s best record with a 92-80 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night at Dallas.
Ron Artest scored 26 points to lead the Eastern Conference-leading Pacers (28-10). Dallas started the night with a 16-2 home mark, second-best in the league to Sacramento’s 18-2.
Dallas starters Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley, Steve Nash, Antoine Walker and Danny Fortson missed 31 consecutive shots in the second half before Walker’s putback with 2:56 to play.
The Mavericks held a 50-46 lead early in the third quarter before the Pacers went on a 23-6 run to take a 13-point lead.
Philadelphia 97, New Jersey 81 -- Glenn Robinson scored 24 of his 26 points in the first half at Philadelphia to help offset a poor first half by Allen Iverson, who was held scoreless in the first quarter and did not have a basket until making a jump shot with 2:14 left in the third quarter.
Iverson scored six points in the last three minutes of the quarter to put the 76ers ahead by 17. He had seven in the fourth quarter to finish with 17 points and 11 assists for his first double-double since Nov. 14.
Portland 87, Chicago 78 -- Winning on the road for only the second time in 15 games, the Trail Blazers ended a four-game losing streak without second-leading scorer Rasheed Wallace, who sat out with a sprained left ankle.
Boston 107, Cleveland 82 -- Paul Pierce had 30 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists before sitting out most of the fourth quarter at Boston as the Celtics coasted to their 13th consecutive victory over the Cavaliers.
Orlando 103, Washington 92 -- At Orlando, Tracy McGrady scored 35 points to help the Magic end a six-game losing streak. The Wizards, the NBA’s worst shooting team, scored 11 points in the first quarter en route to a 25-point first half despite facing the league’s worst defensive team.
San Antonio 94, New Orleans 84 -- Tim Duncan and Bruce Bowen each scored 15 points to lead seven players in double figures at New Orleans, and the Spurs won for the 16th time in 17 games.
Milwaukee 103, Miami 94 -- The Bucks have won five in a row for the first time this season. They climbed four games over .500 (20-16) for the first time since last Feb. 14 and won their eighth consecutive home game.
Denver 106, Utah 96 -- Carmelo Anthony scored 27 points to lead the Nuggets at Denver. The Jazz played without Coach Jerry Sloan, home with his wife, Bobbye, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this week. Assistant Phil Johnson coached for the second straight game.
Sacramento 113, Phoenix 93 -- Peja Stojakovic had 29 points and 12 rebounds, Mike Bibby had 25 points, and reserve Bobby Jackson scored a season-high 24 to lead the Kings at Phoenix.
The Suns activated 2003 NBA Rookie of the Year Amare Stoudemire before the game. Stoudemire, who sprained his ankle at Boston on Dec. 5, scored 10 points in 19 minutes.
Seattle 122, Memphis 116 -- At Seattle, Rashard Lewis scored 26 points and Brent Barry had 18 points and 10 assists to lead the SuperSonics to their eighth win in 10 games.
Boston’s Pierce was fined $7,500 by the NBA for throwing and kicking a basketball into the stands. He received a technical foul for throwing the ball into the stands with 6:29 left in the third quarter of a 101-93 victory over Orlando on Jan. 7. He also kicked the ball into the stands at the conclusion of the game.... Former New York Knick point guard Charlie Ward signed with San Antonio.