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Suns Clinch, 76ers' Webber Hurt

Associated Press
Thursday, March 31, 2005; Page D07

Steve Nash had a triple-double, Quentin Richardson set team records for three-point shooting and the Suns clinched their first Pacific Division title in 10 years by beating the Philadelphia 76ers, 116-87, last night in Phoenix.

Nash, who played only 27 minutes, had a career-high 13 rebounds to go with 12 points and 12 assists. The stylish point guard drew a loud ovation with his 10th assist, a pass to Steven Hunter for a dunk that put Phoenix ahead, 77-58, with 5 minutes 7 seconds left in the third quarter.

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Richardson broke Dan Majerle's franchise records for three-pointers and three-point attempts, set in 1994-95. Richardson went 4 for 11 from deep to finish with 201 made in 559 tries.

Majerle, a color commentator at courtside, pretended to wipe away a tear when Richardson made his 200th with 5:54 left in the second quarter.

Shawn Marion had 26 points and nine rebounds, Joe Johnson had 20 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists, and Jim Jackson scored 19 points for Phoenix, which learned just after tip-off that its magic number was one because of Sacramento's loss at Detroit.

Allen Iverson had 26 points for the Sixers. Chris Webber scored 12, but hurt his shoulder in the third quarter. Andre Iguodala, with 10, was the only other Sixers starter in double figures.

Webber's shoulder was X-rayed, but there was no immediate report on the findings.

The Suns had a 65-41 lead at halftime and were never threatened after that.

The Suns' other division titles came in 1980-91, 1992-93 and 1994-95, when they won 57, 62 and 59 games, respectively, for the three best marks in franchise history.

BULLS 102, BOBCATS 99: Ben Gordon showed Emeka Okafor why the rookie of the year award is still up for grabs, scoring 22 of his career-high 35 points in the fourth quarter to lead visiting Chicago to victory. Gordon drained a tie-breaking three-pointer with 43 seconds left, then gave Chicago a 101-97 lead with another three with 22 seconds left.

"I was just feeling it," said Gordon, who scored the Bulls' final 16 points.

Othella Harrington added 16 points and eight rebounds and Jannero Pargo also scored 16 for the Bulls, who won their seventh straight. Charlotte's Okafor had 17 points.

MAVERICKS 112, CELTICS 100: Dirk Nowitzki had 36 points and Keith Van Horn added 21 to send Boston to its season high-tying fourth straight loss.

The Mavericks won for the ninth time in 11 games and continued to excel on the road, improving the NBA's third-best road record to 24-11.

NETS 95, CLIPPERS 78: Vince Carter scored 31 points and Jason Kidd had eight points and 13 assists as host New Jersey kept its playoff hopes alive.

MAGIC 108, RAPTORS 96: Orlando took another step toward reviving its playoff hopes with the home win. Grant Hill scored 21 points and rookie Dwight Howard contributed 18 points and nine rebounds as Orlando won its second game in a row after a prolonged slump. Orlando is one game behind Philadelphia for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

PISTONS 99, KINGS 82: Richard Hamilton scored 24 points and Ben Wallace added 19 and 14 rebounds to lead Detroit at home. Detroit, which had lost four of its last five games, was coached by assistant Gar Heard for the 10th straight game as Larry Brown recovers from urinary-tract surgery.

NUGGETS 109, JAZZ 98: Andre Miller had 24 points and nine assists and led a key fourth-quarter run for visiting Denver. With the win, Denver (39-31) tied Memphis for the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference playoff race. The Nuggets needed to rally after falling behind by four early in the fourth quarter despite playing against Utah's depleted lineup.

WARRIORS 113, BUCKS 109: Baron Davis scored 25 points and handed out 15 assists, and Mickael Pietrus scored 21 points to lead visiting Golden State to victory.

SPURS 89, SUPERSONICS 76: Tony Parker scored 28 points, and host San Antonio let a 20-point fourth-quarter lead dwindle to 10 before holding off Seattle.

ROCKETS 100, BLAZERS 84: Yao Ming scored 29 points and Tracy McGrady had 26 points and 10 rebounds to lead visiting Houston to a four-game sweep of the season series.

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