There won't be an asterisk in the record books to denote Don Nelson's 900th victory.

Still, beating the Pistons without Grant Hill was a lot easier than doing it with Detroit's superstar in the lineup.

The Mavericks took advantage of Hill's absence last night and made Nelson the sixth NBA coach to reach 900 victories as they beat the host Pistons, 99-91.

"I'm just glad I won't have to talk about it any more," Nelson said with a smile. "The thing I'm happiest about is that it was won the way games are supposed to be won. I'm only going to remember that everyone played hard for us, we changed strategies and made adjustments and then we found a way to win it in the end."

The Mavericks were also short-handed, with Gary Trent out with a strained groin. They made up for it with a balanced offense, led by 22 points from Cedric Ceballos and 18 from Michael Finley.

Hill sat out with a bruised hip and back suffered Saturday in Chicago. He is not expected to play again until at least Thursday. Jerry Stackhouse led all scorers with 36 points.

RAPTORS 94, SUPERSONICS 77: While Vince Carter looked on from the sidelines, Seattle did most of its watching on the court.

With Carter sitting because of foul trouble, Toronto ran all over the visiting SuperSonics and ended a three-game losing streak.

Carter scored 13 points in 25 minutes. He got into third-quarter foul trouble and didn't play in the fourth. "I enjoyed it, actually, to be a cheerleader," he said.

Tracy McGrady and Antonio Davis each had 17 points and 11 rebounds for Toronto, which held a 53-34 rebounding edge.

ROCKETS 101, HEAT 88: Matt Bullard scored a season-high 24 points against Miami, and host Houston won its sixth straight.

The Rockets made 15 of 31 three-point attempts. Their previous season high was 13, on Nov. 20 at Seattle. Bullard made 6 of 10 three-point attempts.

"I can't tell you how good this team executed," Rockets Coach Rudy Tomjanovich said.

Miami Coach Pat Riley had a different take on what he saw: "It was our worst effort of the year."

TIMBERWOLVES 99, WARRIORS 81: Terrell Brandon wasted little time reestablishing himself as the driving force behind the Timberwolves' offense as Minnesota set a team record with its fifth straight road win. Brandon, returning to the Minnesota lineup after missing three games with a strained right calf, had 15 points and nine assists.

MAGIC 102, CLIPPERS 89: In Los Angeles, Darrell Armstrong, with 17 points, led six Orlando players in double figures. The Magic won for only the third time in 16 games and the Clippers lost their eighth straight.