Little Earl Boykins scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half to overshadow another Carmelo Anthony-LeBron James matchup, leading the Denver Nuggets to a 106-101 victory over the Cavaliers last night in Cleveland.
Boykins, the Nuggets' pesky 5-foot-5 guard, made the most of his second start this season as the Nuggets overcame a 35-point performance from James.
Reggie Miller, who announced that he will retire at the end of the season, lines up a jump shot over Houston's Rod Strickland. Miller scored 11 points -- his season's average -- in a losing effort.
(Brent Smith -- Reuters)
"He played big," Nuggets teammate Andre Miller said. "We were standing around and he gave us a spark."
Playing in front of family and friends in his home town, Boykins made several big plays down the stretch for Denver, which trailed by 12 points early in the third. With the Nuggets clinging to a 101-97 lead, Boykins drove the lane and around several Cavs defenders to feed Nene for a dramatic dunk.
76ERS 106, RAPTORS 91: Allen Iverson scored 30 points to lead Philadelphia on the road. Kenny Thomas added 21 points and eight rebounds, and rookie Andre Iguodala had 16 points and eight rebounds. The Sixers, coming off consecutive losses, out-rebounded Toronto 47-33 and outscored the Raptors 20-0 on the fast break.
CELTICS 111, KNICKS 94: Ricky Davis scored 25 points and Paul Pierce had 17 to lead Boston at home. Raef Lafrentz added 15 points and 14 rebounds to help the Atlantic Division-leading Celtics (26-25) move above .500 for the first time since Nov. 12.
"I think we've finally gotten over the hump," Pierce said.
ROCKETS 91, PACERS 83: Bob Sura scored 17 points and Houston won its sixth straight, holding host Indiana to a single point in the final seven minutes. After trailing by 15 points, Indiana rallied to tie it at 82, with Reggie Miller hitting two three-pointers. But the Pacers missed their final 12 shots as the Rockets pulled away in the closing minutes.
Indiana still had a chance after Jeff Foster hit one of two free throws with 2 minutes 51 seconds to go, but Houston clinched it with a free throw by Tracy McGrady and two foul shots by David Wesley.
HEAT 97, BOBCATS 87: In Charlotte, Shaquille O'Neal had 32 points and 12 rebounds to lead Miami to its fifth straight victory and ninth in 10 games. Damon Jones added 22 points despite playing on a sprained ankle for the Heat, which returns home to face San Antonio tomorrow in a possible NBA Finals preview.
HORNETS 111, WARRIORS 108: Rodney Rogers scored 20 points and Bostjan Nachbar had 19, leading host New Orleans to its 10th win of the season and ensuring that the Hornets would not match the NBA's worst record.
SPURS 101, NETS 91: Tony Parker scored 17 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, and San Antonio took over after Bruce Bowen got Vince Carter so angry that he picked up a second technical foul with 9:45 to go in New Jersey's loss at home.
Carter, who scored 43 points on 14-of-24 shooting, became so enraged after tangling legs with Bowen after missing a jumper that he screamed at the Spurs forward and walked menacingly toward him with 9:45 left.
Referee Courtney Kirkland got between the players, but they were suddenly faced with a difficult decision. They had given both players technicals in the third quarter for pushing off on an out-of-bounds play, and this one seemingly demanded another. After a conference, Carter was given his second technical foul.
GRIZZLIES 88, TRAIL BLAZERS 82: Stromile Swift scored 23 points, and Mike Miller added 22 to lead sluggish Memphis at home. Swift also had eight rebounds before leaving the game with 5:45 left after banging his left knee. Miller was 4 of 8 from three-point range and 9 of 14 overall to help Memphis win its third straight and sixth in the last seven.
SUPERSONICS 113, SUNS 105: Ray Allen climbed out of an awful shooting night with 14 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and Seattle had seven players in double figures to beat host in a showdown of division leaders.
Rashard Lewis scored 23 points, going 4 of 7 from three-point range, and Antonio Daniels had 20 in the Sonics' fifth win in a row. Vladimir Radmanovic added 13, Jerome James and Luke Ridnour had 12 apiece and Reggie Evans had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
JAZZ 100, TIMBERWOLVES 82: Carlos Boozer answered criticism from team owner Larry Miller with 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Andrei Kirilenko had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead Utah in Salt Lake City.
MAVERICKS 115, KINGS 113: Dirk Nowitzki scored 27 points to lead six teammates in double figures and help Dallas win in Sacramento. The Kings have lost four in a row and go on the road for nine of their next 10 games.