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Howard Takes the Mavericks Higher

April 02, 2001|Associated Press

Juwan Howard got the best of his old college buddy, and the Dallas Mavericks got another huge boost in their run toward the playoffs.

Howard had 32 points and 12 rebounds in his biggest game with Dallas, and Dirk Nowitzki added 25 points, including five three-point baskets and 11 rebounds, Sunday night as the Mavericks got their first victory at Sacramento in more than four years by beating the Kings, 119-107.

Howard was Webber's teammate at Michigan and a member of the famed Fab Five recruiting class and again with the Washington Bullets and Wizards. But while Webber has earned respect during his three seasons in Sacramento, Howard was criticized for failing to make winners out of the Wizards. However, since being traded to Dallas in February, Howard is beginning to enjoy some of the success Webber has had in Sacramento.

"I try not to think too much about us going one on one, because we are a team trying to make the playoffs." Howard said. "It's great to play against [Webber], but it's better to play with him."

Webber scored 27 points and Peja Stojakovic had 24 for the Kings, who still have a two-game division lead over the Lakers and two games in hand. Michael Finley had 23 points as Dallas moved into a tie with Portland for fifth place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind the fourth-place Lakers.

"We just got our tails kicked," Sacramento Coach Rick Adelman said.

Charlotte 80, Boston 79--Elden Campbell made a hook shot with nine seconds left, and Baron Davis blocked a final shot by the Celtics' Milt Palacio to preserve the victory at Charlotte, N.C.

The Hornets ended a four-game losing streak and need one more victory to clinch a playoff spot. Boston blew an opportunity to break its tie with Indiana in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Antoine Walker scored 25 points for the Celtics, but missed a critical free throw with 19 seconds to play.

Minnesota 99, Portland 95--Terrell Brandon had 30 points and 11 assists, and made two free throws with 5.9 seconds left to seal the victory at Portland, Ore.

The matchup between all-star power forwards Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace fizzled when Wallace was tossed with 7:29 left in the third quarter. He earned an automatic ejection after receiving his 39th and 40th technical fouls, breaking his own NBA record of 38 set last season. Garnett finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

"Go back that way, man," Wallace said to a reporter who approached him after the game.

Orlando 104, Toronto 101--Tracy McGrady, who left the Raptors as a free agent, scored 24 points in his first game back at Toronto and said he took pleasure in silencing Raptors' fans who spat and booed him.

Darrell Armstrong added 22 points and Pat Garrity had 20 for the Magic, who tied Toronto for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

Vince Carter had 28 points and 11 assists for the Raptors, but missed a game-tying three-pointer with a few seconds left.

Utah 92, Vancouver 73--Karl Malone scored 31 points and the Jazz used a 16-point third quarter to break open a close contest at Vancouver and clinch a playoff spot for the 18th consecutive season.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim had 20 points and 12 rebounds for Vancouver, which lost for the 10th time in 11 games.

New Jersey 101, Houston 98--Steve Francis' game-tying, three-point attempt bounced off the back of the rim, spoiling a 28-point performance and badly damaging the Rockets' playoff hopes in a loss to the injury-riddled Nets at East Rutherford, N.J.

Houston is 3 1/2 games behind Minnesota in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Philadelphia 104, Indiana 93--Allen Iverson scored 37 points and had seven rebounds at Philadelphia as the 76ers defeated the team that knocked them out of the playoffs the past two years.

Phoenix 106, Milwaukee 99--Jason Kidd had 30 points and 12 assists for the Suns at Phoenix to maintain a 2 1/2-game edge on Minnesota for the seventh playoff seed in the Western Conference.

The Bucks played without Glenn Robinson (sore left ankle) and Sam Cassell (right hip flexor).

Detroit 104, Golden State 87--Jerry Stackhouse scored 32 points and Ben Wallace added 16 rebounds to lead the Pistons at Auburn Hills, Mich.

Around the League

DePaul sophomore center Steven Hunter will skip his final two years of eligibility to make himself available for the NBA draft. The 7-footer averaged 11.4 points and 5.6 rebounds last season. . . . Guard Doug Overton signed a second 10-day contract with New Jersey.

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