Grizzlies misfortunes continue

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SuperSonics 112, Grizzlies 89

SuperSonics 112, Grizzlies 89

In Seattle, Gary Payton scored 26 points as Seattle ruined the head coaching debut of Lionel Hollins with a victory over the Vancouver Grizzlies.

Hollins was named interim head coach by Grizzlies president Stu Jackson earlier this week replacing Brian Hill.

The Sonics beat the Grizzlies for the eighth straight time on their homecourt as Vancouver lost for the 16th time in its last 17 games.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim led the Grizzlies with 25 points and Michael Dickerson added 14 points.

Nuggets 86, Spurs 84

In Denver, Nick Van Exel and Bryant Stith each scored a basket in the last 21 seconds and Ron Mercer had 25 points as Denver beat San Antonio for the first time in nearly three years.

Van Exel, who was 1-for-10 through three quarters and had only six points for the game put the Nuggets ahead 83-82 with a 15-foot jumper. After a San Antonio timeout, Stith, who finished with 14 points, stole the inbounds pass at midcourt and drove the length of the court for a layup.

Tim Duncan, who had 33 points 10 rebounds for San Antonio, hit an off balance shot with 12 seconds left, but missed a shot at the buzzer after Roy Rogers had given Denver a two-point lead with a free throw.

Bucks 109, Pacers 95

In Milwaukee, Glenn Robinson scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as Milwaukee defeated Indiana.

Danny Manning came off the bench and had a season-high 19 points for the Bucks, who had lost 10 straight to the Pacers. Their last win was March 16, 1997.

Reggie Miller led the Pacers with 21 points and Jalen Rose added 19. Dale Davis had 18 points and 15 rebounds but it wasn't enough.

Magic 83, Bulls 74

In Chicago, John Amaechi scored 13 points and Orlando used its superior bench to beat Chicago and send the hapless Bulls to their 19th loss in 21 games.

Amaechi and fellow reserve Chris Gatling, who had 10 points, were the only scorers in double figures for Orlando.

Elton Brand had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, who shot only 34 percent and had 17 turnovers that led to 20 Orlando points.

Rockets 100, Celtics 94

In Houston, Kelvin Cato came off the bench to hit his first 11 shots and finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds as Houston ended a five-game losing streak with a win over Boston.

Cato's 3-point play midway through the third quarter climaxed a 9-0 run that put the Rockets ahead to stay and send Boston to its fifth consecutive loss and ninth straight defeat on the road.

Antoine Walker topped Boston with 24 points, 10 late in the game as the Celtics nearly overcame an 86-69 Houston lead. Anderson added 23 points.

Suns 119, Kings 103

In Phoenix, Jason Kidd had his second triple-double in as many nights and Scott Skiles stayed unbeaten as Phoenix's coach as the short-handed Suns beat Sacramento.

Kidd had 27 points, 14 assists and 14 rebounds, along with four steals, one night after getting 32 points, 10 assists and 12 rebounds in the Suns' 110-102 victory at Portland.

Cliff Robinson scored a season-high 33 points for the Suns, who are 3-0 since Danny Ainge resigned as coach and Skiles replaced him.

Jason Williams had 22 to lead the Kings.

Jazz 106, Hawks 96

In Atlanta, Karl Malone scored 33 points, including the go-ahead layup in the closing minutes, keying an 11-0 run by Utah as the Jazz went on to victory over Atlanta.

Trailing 91-90, Malone scored with 4:30 left to put Utah ahead to stay. The Jazz, who have won eight of their last nine games, built the margin to 101-91 as the Hawks went scoreless for nearly three minutes.

Isaiah Rider led Atlanta with 24 points. Jackson added 22 and Dikembe Mutombo had 21 for the Hawks, who lost for the fourth time in five games.

Pistons 104, 76ers 91

In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Jerome Williams had 18 points and matched a career high with 16 rebounds as Detroit beat Philadelphia.

Philadelphia coach Larry Brown benched three starters, including league-leading scorer Allen Iverson, for the final 20 minutes. A fourth starter, Tyrone Hill, only played one minute in that stretch.

Iverson still led Philadelphia in scoring with 19. Jerry Stackhouse had 26 to lead Detroit.

Hornets 106, Heat 89

In Miami, Eddie Jones scored 24 points and Derrick Coleman had 19 as Charlotte won its eighth consecutive game with a victory over reeling Miami.

The Hornets moved into sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference in franchise history.

Miami has now lost four straight for the first time since last March 26-April 3. The Heat were led by Alonzo Mourning, who had 18 points, 11 rebounds and tied his own Heat record with nine blocks against his former team.

Nets 98, Cavaliers 74

In Cleveland, Kerry Kittles scored 18 points and sparked New Jersey on an 18-2 spurt to start the second half as the Nets routed Cleveland.

Kittles scored 13 points - including consecutive 3-pointers - in the first quarter as the Nets opened a 30-17 lead. He had five points in New Jersey's decisive run to open the third quarter.

Shawn Kemp scored just 14 to lead Cleveland.

Timberwolves 108, Mavericks 104

In Dallas, Kevin Garnett had 27 points and 14 rebounds as Minnesota snapped an eight-game losing streak with a win over Dallas.

Terrell Brandon added 20 points and Wally Szczerbiak had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who last won on Nov. 30 against Denver.

Michael Finley had 26 points and Hubert Davis scored 25 for the Mavericks, who have lost six of their last seven games.

Wizards 95, Nicks 83

In New York, Mitch Richmond scored 19 points, new starting center Jahidi White had 15 points and 10 rebounds and three other Wizards players scored in double figures as Washington defeated New York 95-83 to snap the Knicks' five-game winning streak.

Latrell Sprewell shot just 3-for-11, Allan Houston was 5-for-14 and the Knicks had a grand total of just 11 assists - only one of which came in the fourth quarter.

Washington took the lead for good early in the third quarter and stayed comfortably ahead through the final 20 minutes in gaining their second two-game winning streak of the season.

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