Lakers 99, Nuggets 91
LOS ANGELES -- Kobe Bryant scored the Lakers' first 14 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 42, carrying Los Angeles over Denver. Former Lakers star Michael Cooper lost his first game as an NBA coach. He was promoted to head coach in Denver last Tuesday after the firing of Jeff Bzdelik and won in his debut Friday night against Philadelphia. Bryant recorded his third consecutive 40-point game for the Lakers, who won back-to-back games for the sixth time this season, but have yet to win three in a row under coach Rudy Tomjanovich. Carmelo Anthony led Denver with 27 points in his second game back since missing six with a sprained ankle.
Wizards 104, Hawks 101
WASHINGTON -- Reserve guard Juan Dixon scored all 15 of his points in the fourth quarter to lead the Washington Wizards over Atlanta for the Hawks' fourth straight loss. Larry Hughes led the Wizards with 26 points while Antawn Jamison added 19 and Gilbert Arenas 17 for Washington, which had lost its previous two games. Antoine Walker, who finished with 18 points, hit a 3-pointer to pull the Hawks to 102-101 with 3.1 seconds left. Jamison's two free throws with 2.2 seconds remaining sealed the victory. Tony Delk led the Hawks with 19 points and Tyronn Lue added a season-high 16 against his former team. Al Harrington finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Pistons 100, Celtics 88
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Rasheed Wallace had 23 points and 12 rebounds to lead Detroit. Detroit won for the fourth time in five games, while Boston has won just one of its last five. Six Pistons scored in double figures, including 18 from Tayshaun Prince, while Ben Wallace had eight points and 11 rebounds. Rookie Tony Allen led Boston with a career-best 18 points. Jiri Welsch added 14 points and Paul Pierce had 13.
Clippers 89, 76ers 83
LOS ANGELES -- Elton Brand had 26 points and 12 rebounds, Corey Maggette added 26 points and the Los Angeles Clippers overcame 28 turnovers. Chris Kaman had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who had lost eight of their last 10 games and five of six against Philadelphia. Allen Iverson scored 35 points while playing at least 40 minutes for the 10th straight game. He shot 16-for-30, while the 76ers' other starters were a combined 4-for-20 from the field.
Suns 117, Trail Blazers 98
PHOENIX -- Amare Stoudemire scored a career-high 50 points, including nine straight during a decisive 12-2 Phoenix run early in the fourth quarter. Stoudemire, who had 20 points in the final period, shot 20-of-27 from the field and 10-of-17 from the foul line in amassing the highest point total by a Phoenix player since Tony Delk scored 53 against Sacramento in a 121-117 overtime loss Feb. 2, 2001.
Rockets 99, Jazz 80
HOUSTON -- Tracy McGrady scored 25 points to help the Houston Rockets to their third straight victory. Bob Sura tied season-highs with 24 points, 10 rebounds and five steals for the Rockets, who won for the 10th time in their last 14 games. Early in the third quarter, Houston went on an 23-4 run that included four three-point plays, two by Yao Ming and one each by Sura and Juwan Howard. Gordon Giricek had 15 points to lead five double-figure scorers for the Jazz, who lost their fifth straight.
Mavericks 123, Bucks 104
DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki scored 39 points and Josh Howard scored 11 of his 25 in the fourth quarter to lead Dallas. Nowitzki, who scored 21 points in the first half, hit 14 of 25 shots from the floor for his 11th 30-point game of the season. The Mavericks shot 53 percent from the floor (47-of-89) and equaled their season-high point total. Despite its stellar shooting, Dallas didn't pull away until the fourth quarter. The Mavericks led by 22 points early in the third quarter, but the Bucks sliced the lead to 88-80 after three. Milwaukee trailed 97-88 before Dallas took control with a 9-2 run, which was capped by Howard's three-point play that put the Mavericks ahead 106-90 with five minutes left.
Kings 86, Spurs 81
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Peja Stojakovic hit a season-high six 3-pointers, and Mike Bibby scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half to lead Sacramento. Stojakovic scored 28 points and Chris Webber had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Kings, who snapped the Spurs' five-game winning streak. Sacramento also avoided its first three-game home losing streak since April 2000 with a gritty fourth-quarter performance. Sacramento, which lost its previous two home games to Miami and Golden State, led through most of the fourth before San Antonio tied it on Brent Barry's 3-pointer with 4:42 left. Stojakovic answered with a 3-pointer, and Brad Miller then hit a desperate 22-footer as the shot clock expired with 2:49 to play. San Antonio got back within 80-78 on Tim Duncan's three-point play, but Webber hit a jumper with 1:10 left, and Manu Ginobili missed two open 3-pointers in the final seconds.
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