NBA ROUNDUP | Thursday's games
Nets 86, Timberwolves 82
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson each scored 21 points, and New Jersey won its seventh straight victory. The Nets (38-29) improved to a season-best 11 games over .500 and have won 15 of their last 18 home games. They snapped a four-game losing streak against Minnesota and handed the Timberwolves their 13th loss in their last 14 road games. Kevin Garnett led Minnesota (28-40) with 24 points but scored just nine in the second half. The Nets' Clifford Robinson made two 3-pointers down the stretch, both from the left wing, to help hold off the Timberwolves. The second came with 53 seconds remaining and gave the Nets an 83-79 lead. Before that, Carter had given the Nets an 80-75 lead with two free throws with 1:25 left, but Jason Kidd failed to connect with Jefferson on an alley-oop pass and fouled Marcus Banks. Banks made the free throws and then made two more to bring Minnesota within a point with 1:03 remaining before Robinson's 3-pointer. Banks and Mark Blount finished with 18 points apiece for Minnesota.
Rockets 93, Hornets 92
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Yao Ming and Rafer Alston each scored 22 points, and the duo led the Houston Rockets down the stretch, snapping a six-game losing streak. The Hornets erased a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit and took an 84-83 lead on David West's right-handed fast-break jam, but Alston answered with buzzer-beating jumpers on back-to-back possessions as Houston scored the next eight points. New Orleans' Chris Paul hit a 3-pointer from the left wing with 3.6 seconds left and Rasual Butler took advantage of a stolen inbounds pass by West with another 3 at the buzzer to create the final one-point margin.
Grizzlies 95, Clippers 85
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Eddie Jones scored 23 points, reserve Mike Miller added 21 points and 14 rebounds as Memphis won its fifth straight. The Grizzlies capped a 5-1 homestand and moved within a half-game of the Clippers for fifth place in the Western Conference. Elton Brand led the Clippers with 25 points and Sam Cassell scored 21. Corey Maggette, who scored 25 points in 18 minutes in a 120-108 loss to New Orleans on Tuesday, was held to eight points in 24 minutes. Memphis shot 60 percent in the first quarter to take a 26-18 lead and never trailed. The Grizzlies increased their lead to 14 points early in the second quarter and led 43-36 at the half.
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