Vince Carter scored 36 points and made a decisive three-pointer with 51 seconds left to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 98-95 victory over the Cavaliers last night in Cleveland.

Carter broke a tie at 88 with a 25-foot jump shot from the left wing as the shot clock was about to expire, putting Toronto ahead to stay.

"Coach [Butch Carter] called time and was saying something, and I just said, 'Forget all that, guys--we're going to go out and win this one on our own,' " Vince Carter said.

"He hit that three with a hand in his face and there's nothing you can do when those shots go down," Cavaliers Coach Randy Wittman said after his team's seventh straight loss.

CLIPPERS 103, CELTICS 100: Maurice Taylor scored 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter as short-handed Los Angeles gave visiting Boston its seventh defeat in eight games.

Tyrone Nesby added 22 points, and Troy Hudson, Eric Piatkowski and Lamar Odom each scored 15 for the Clippers (9-18).

The win was the third straight and fourth in five games since a 95-68 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 14, a game in which the Clippers scored an NBA record-low 20 points in the first half.

SUNS 108, WARRIORS 88: Cliff Robinson scored 25 points in three quarters for host Phoenix, which gave Golden State its fifth loss in six games.

Robinson, counted on heavily for scoring by the short-handed Suns, has averaged 25.6 points in his last nine games. "He's been playing the best out of anybody on this team," Suns point guard Jason Kidd said, "and he's been doing it for a while."

Kidd added 19 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds as Phoenix improved to 5-2 under new coach Scott Skiles, even though the team is without starters Tom Gugliotta, Penny Hardaway and Shawn Marion.

NETS 103, BULLS 76: In East Rutherford, N.J., Chicago (2-22) tied an NBA record with three assists and remained on pace to eclipse the worst record in NBA history--9-73 by the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers. New Jersey won its seventh straight at home.

The game was pretty much over by the time Bulls forward Dickey Simpkins discovered he was wearing a uniform with the name "Smipkins" on the back. A team spokesman said a new shipment of uniforms had been unpacked before the game and no one had noticed the mistake.

"I heard someone say something about my jersey, but I thought he was just harassing me," Simpkins said. "I said: 'I don't come to your job and harass you--why are you harassing me?' Then I went over to the bench and found out my jersey was messed up."

76ERS 92, SUPERSONICS 96: In Seattle, Allen Iverson scored 34 points on 12-of-30 shooting, but defense won it for Philadelphia. The SuperSonics were held to 33 percent shooting (27 for 81).

BUCKS 93, HEAT 85: In Milwaukee, Glenn Robinson scored 13 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter and Ray Allen finished with 22 against visiting Miami.

KINGS 118, MAVERICKS 111: Chris Webber scored 31 points, and Jason Williams had 23 points and eight assists for host Sacramento. The Kings made 5 of 6 three-point attempts and led Dallas from start to finish.

PISTONS 114, HORNETS 96: Grant Hill scored 30 points and former Georgetown forward Jerome Williams had a career-best 21 rebounds to lead Detroit over visiting Charlotte.

NUGGETS 109, GRIZZLIES 86: In Denver, Antonio McDyess and Nick Van Exel each scored 22 points to help the Nuggets (14-12) match their victory total from last season. Denver won 14 of 50 games a year ago.