Vince Carter scored a career-high 39 points as the Raptors defeated the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, 98-92, yesterday in Toronto.

Carter, last year's rookie of the year, made 15 of 25 shots. He also had seven rebounds, and made all eight of his free throws.

"We let Vince take shots that we wanted him to take and he just stuffed it down our throats," San Antonio Coach Gregg Popovich said.

After Dee Brown got a steal with just under two minutes remaining, he fed Carter, who hit a mid-range jumper in traffic.

Avery Johnson, who had 20 points, responded with a jumper to pull San Antonio within one, but Tracy McGrady hit a jumper with 44 seconds left to give the Raptors a 92-89 lead.

Tim Duncan (27 points, 13 rebounds), who was double-teamed down the stretch, missed an 18-footer with 30 seconds left. The Spurs then fouled Doug Christie, who hit both of his free throws.

HORNETS 103, SUPERSONICS 81: Derrick Coleman scored 26 points, and Eddie Robinson added a season-high 18 points as Charlotte handed Seattle its second consecutive lopsided home-court loss.

TRAIL BLAZERS 92, SUNS 90: In Phoenix, Rasheed Wallace sank a 15-foot jumper with one second remaining to lift Portland.

NUGGETS 80, KNICKS 78: In New York, Bryant Stith blocked Latrell Sprewell's jumper with six seconds left as Denver won its first road game of the season.

BUCKS 103, MAVERICKS 97: Sam Cassell had 16 points and a career-high 18 assists as host Milwaukee held off Dallas.

LAKERS 117, MAGIC 100: Shaquille O'Neal had 27 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists to lead host Los Angeles to its sixth straight win.