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Pacers lose 11th in row despite return of O’Neal

From the Associated Press

Jermaine O’Neal’s spirited effort on an injured knee didn’t stop the Indiana Pacers from losing their 11th straight game.

O’Neal started after sitting out three games because of a sprained left knee and had 24 points and seven rebounds, but Gilbert Arenas scored 28 of his 35 points in the second half as the Washington Wizards beat the Pacers, 112-96, Wednesday night at Indianapolis.

“This is probably going to be my last interview about what we need to do,” O’Neal said. “We need to play defense.”

The only negative for Washington was that Caron Butler left early in the second quarter because of stiffness in his left knee and did not return.

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Cleveland 118, Memphis 96 -- Following a one-game absence because of back spasms, LeBron James led seven double-figure scorers with 29 points at Cleveland in the Cavaliers’ season-high seventh straight victory.

Detroit 87, Portland 75 -- The Pistons went from an 18-point lead in the first half to a tie game early in the second half before leading again by 17 en route to victory at Portland, Ore.

Richard Hamilton had 21 points for Detroit, which moved to 4-0 on a trip that ends Friday at Phoenix. Zach Randolph scored 21 for Portland.

Toronto 104, New York 94 -- The Raptors broke the game open with 72% third-quarter shooting (13 of 18) while outscoring the visiting Knicks, 35-18.

T.J. Ford had 18 points and a career-high tying 18 assists for Toronto. Stephon Marbury led New York with 31 points and nine assists.

Orlando 101, Utah 90 -- The host Magic opened a 15-point lead in the third quarter on its way to ending a three-game losing streak.

Dwight Howard had 31 points and 15 rebounds in his matchup against Utah’s Carlos Boozer, who had 29 points and seven rebounds.

Chicago 88, Philadelphia 87 -- Kirk Hinrich made the go-ahead jumper with 26.7 seconds left and Luol Deng had 20 points to lead the visiting Bulls to their fourth straight victory.

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Charlotte 111, Sacramento 108 -- Sean May had 20 points and 12 rebounds and made the go-ahead three-pointer, the second of his two-year career, with 16 seconds left for the host Bobcats.

Boston 109, Atlanta 88 -- Al Jefferson (23 points) and Rajon Rondo (13) broke the game open in the third quarter by combining for 22 points at Boston.


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