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McGrady, Rockets Drop 76ers Down a Notch

Associated Press
Thursday, February 3, 2005; Page D07

Tracy McGrady outperformed the NBA's leading scorer, and the Houston Rockets knocked the 76ers out of first place in the Atlantic Division with a 118-95 victory last night in Philadelphia.

McGrady made five three-pointers and had 34 points and nine assists for the Rockets, who completed a two-game stretch against the top two teams in the NBA's weakest division and emerged with a pair of victories.

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"You know, the East is crazy. You've got teams like five games under .500 and they're leading their division. That's crazy," McGrady said. "The East, I played there, and it is a crazy conference. The West, you're under .500 like that and you have no chance, no chance absolutely, of getting to the playoffs."

Allen Iverson -- leading the NBA with an average of 29.0 points -- had 15 of his 28 points in the first quarter but just two in the second quarter and five in the third.

Combined with Boston's victory over New Jersey, the 76ers fell a half-game behind the Celtics in the division standings.

• KINGS 111, WARRIORS 107: Brad Miller scored four of his career-high 38 points in the final 10.8 seconds of overtime to give Sacramento the road win.

Jason Richardson scored 37 points for the Warriors, who lost their sixth straight.

• SUNS 108, TIMBERWOLVES 79: Amare Stoudemire scored 23 points to lead six Suns players in double-digit scoring on the road.

Minnesota guard Sam Cassell did not return after bruising his right shoulder in the first half.

• CELTICS 110, NETS 89: Paul Pierce had 28 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his fifth career triple-double to lead Boston at home.

Raef LaFrentz finished with 21 points and eight rebounds, and Gary Payton added 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting for Boston.

Jason Kidd had 25 points for New Jersey, which had its four-game winning streak snapped.

• RAPTORS 98, PACERS 97: Chris Bosh had 25 points and 15 rebounds, and Jalen Rose made two free throws with less than a second to go to lift visiting Toronto, which overcame a 19-point third-quarter deficit.

• PISTONS 99, HAWKS 84: Chauncey Billups scored 27 points and Richard Hamilton had 21 as host Detroit won its fifth straight.

• MAVERICKS 90, HORNETS 82: Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points and Jerry Stackhouse added 19 to lead Dallas in New Orleans.

• TRAIL BLAZERS 97, NUGGETS 94: Nick Van Exel scored 26 points to help end visiting Denver's three-game winning streak under new coach George Karl.


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