Suns not shining after Kidd's injury

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The Independent Online

Jason Kidd tried to beat the first half buzzer and wound up being carried off the court by his Phoenix Suns teammates.

Now, the Suns will have to carry on for the rest of the regular season without their All-Star guard, who broke his left ankle in the Suns' 114-93 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

Kidd, who leads the NBA in assists and averages 14.5 points, will have surgery Thursday and is "questionable for the playoffs," said Julie Fie, the Suns director of media relations. Fie said Kidd fractured a bone (medial malleolus) high in the left ankle.

The Suns, 44-23 and third in the Pacific Division behind the Lakers and Trail Blazers, had been playing well since regrouping after Tom Gugliotta tore knee ligaments March 10 and was lost for the season.

While the Suns try to figure out what to do next, Allen Iverson had no trouble figuring out the Toronto Raptors and their star, Vince Carter.

At Philadelphia, Iverson outscored Carter 44-26 as the 76ers beat the Raptors 106-93 to pull into a tie with Toronto for the fourth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The teams could end up meeting in the first round of the playoffs.

"When you have that type of quality player come in, you want to step it up," Iverson said of his duel with Carter. "When you add to that he's coming into my house, I want to play good in front of my fans. It's my house."

In other games, it was Detroit 104, Portland 95; Charlotte 119, New Jersey 103; Minnesota 109, Boston 106; New York 78, Chicago 67; Orlando 103, Atlanta 90; San Antonio 103, the Los Angeles Clippers 78; and the Los Angeles Lakers 119, Golden State 96.

Suns 114, Kings 93

At Phoenix, Cliff Robinson picked up Phoenix with 26 points to lead six players in double figures.

"We have guys who recognize the situation and do a good job of stepping up and playing," Robinson said.

Kidd's injury came with .2 seconds left in the half. He took an inbounds pass and drove down the right sideline. He then fumbled the ball out of bounds, spun and tried to grab it as his ankle twisted.

Rodney Rogers added 18 points and Randy Livingston, subbing for Kidd, had 17; Chris Webber had 16 points to lead Sacramento.

In Philadelphia, Iverson scored 30 of his points in the final 19 minutes and Tyrone Hill added 20 points and 12 rebounds for the 76ers.

The Raptors lost their second straight after winning 11 of 12; the 76ers won their fourth straight.

Iverson was 17-of-29 from the field and 9-of-9 from the foul line.

"Not many people can stop him," Carter said. "We were just added to that list."

Pistons 104, Trail Blazers 95

Grant Hill scored 14 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter to rally Detroit.

Jerry Stackhouse added 23 points and Terry Mills had 14 of his 16 in the second half for the Pistons, who have won three straight road games after losing their previous 11.

Rasheed Wallace and Steve Smith each scored 20 for the Blazers, who led by 11 late in the third quarter.

Hornets 119, Nets 103

The Hornets shot a season-best 56 percent, with Eddie Jones scoring 26 points and Derrick Coleman and David Wesley each adding 22.

In ending a three-game losing streak, Charlotte recorded its highest point and assist (37) totals of the season.

Stephon Marbury paced visiting New Jersey with 23 points, while Kendall Gill and Keith Van Horn had 17 each as the Nets lost for only the second time in seven games.

Timberwolves 109, Celtics 106

At Boston, Anthony Peeler hit a 3-point shot with .2 seconds left to lift the Timberwolves, who also got a career-high 40 points from Kevin Garnett.

Paul Pierce had 25 points and Antoine Walker 22 for the Celtics.

Knicks 78, Bulls 67

Latrell Sprewell scored 21 points and the Knicks produced their best defensive effort of the season.

The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for New York and was the eighth consecutive loss for the visiting Bulls, who have dropped 16 of their last 17. The 67 points were the fewest surrendered by the Knicks this season.

Magic 103, Hawks 90

At Orlando, Florida, Darrell Armstrong had 27 points and 10 assists and Ben Wallace grabbed 16 rebounds as Orlando maintained its hold on the eighth playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

Spurs 103, Clippers 78

At San Antonio, Tim Duncan scored 30 points in his best game since returning from an abdominal injury.

Samaki Walker matched his season high with 18 points for the Spurs, while Sean Elliott scored six points in 19 minutes - his best production in the five games since he returned from a kidney transplant.

Lakers 119, Warriors 96

Shaquille O'Neal scored 14 of his 22 points in the first eight minutes and Los Angeles cruised at home.

With its reserves in, though, the Lakers saw a 34-point, third-quarter lead shrink to 11 with plenty of time left, but coach Phil Jackson's unit regained control and won by 23.

The win was the fourth straight and 23rd in 24 games for the Lakers. The Warriors have lost three in a row and 13 of their last 15.

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