In a matchup of the top teams in the Central Division, Reggie Miller scored 30 points and made four three-pointers in a 27-4 run that led the Indiana Pacers to a 109-99 victory over the Charlotte Hornets last night in Indianapolis.
The Pacers (20-9) won their fifth straight overall, their ninth straight at Conseco Fieldhouse and took a two-game lead in the division over the Hornets.
"Right now, we're on a nice little rhythm," Miller said of the Pacers, who have won 13 of 15 games. "I'm firing and playing with emotion out on the court. The guys are setting extra-hard picks for me. Plays are coming to me."
Miller shot 9 for 10 in the second and third quarters, and Mark Jackson had a season-high 18 points and 11 assists. Dale Davis added 12 points and 11 rebounds, Travis Best had 15 points and Jalen Rose 10.
David Wesley scored 17 points to lead five Hornets in double figures. Elden Campbell added 15.
PISTONS 106, HAWKS 105: Terry Mills hit a three-pointer as time expired in overtime against visiting Atlanta, which suspended Isaiah Rider earlier in the day.
Mills took a pass from Grant Hill on the right baseline and swished a high-arcing jumper as the buzzer sounded.
Jerry Stackhouse led Detroit with 33 points, and Hill narrowly missed his first triple-double of the season with 25 points, 12 assists and 9 rebounds.
Rider was suspended indefinitely by the team before the game. After a profanity-laced diatribe to the media after Atlanta's 116-89 loss to Indiana Wednesday, Rider missed the team's flight to Detroit as well as yesterday morning's shoot-around.
NETS 102, MAGIC 92: Stephon Marbury has a very simple explanation for his team's recent success.
"Good teams play good defense," Marbury said after New Jersey held visiting Orlando scoreless over the last 3 minutes 13 seconds and had the game's final 10 points. "That's what it's all about. We're playing good, hard, smart basketball and good team defense."
Marbury had 21 points and 13 assists to spark the Nets to their fourth straight win and their record-tying ninth straight home win.
TIMBERWOLVES 94, BULLS 76: Kevin Garnett had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Minnesota never trailed at home.
Garnett shot 9 for 11 and recorded his 19th double-double of the season. All five Minnesota starters scored in double figures as the Wolves (13-14) won for the sixth time in seven games.
RAPTORS 109, MAVERICKS 104: Tracy McGrady scored 24 points, and Vince Carter had 22 as the Toronto duo put on a dunking display in Dallas.
Antonio Davis provided 19 points, 15 rebounds and strong interior defense to help the Raptors win their third straight and fourth in five games.
SPURS 98, GRIZZLIES 88: Tim Duncan scored 32 points, leading the team in scoring for the 23rd time this season, to spark San Antonio on the road. David Robinson added 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Duncan had a game-high 15 rebounds as the Spurs beat the Grizzlies for the ninth straight time.
TRAIL BLAZERS 108, 76ERS 90: Rasheed Wallace had 23 points and 11 rebounds, and Portland blew an early 25-point lead before pulling away at home. Allen Iverson scored 32 points for the Sixers, raising his league-leading average to 29.9 a game.
ROCKETS 122, CLIPPERS 100: Kelvin Cato had 21 points and 11 rebounds, leading six Houston players in double figures at home.
CELTICS 102, NUGGETS 94: Antoine Walker scored 26 points, Paul Pierce added 21 and Boston ended an 11-game road losing streak.
BUCKS 91, CAVALIERS 90: Tim Thomas sank two free throws with 13 seconds left to cap a game-ending 17-5 run that gave Milwaukee the win at home.