Latrell Sprewell arrived early, entered the game late and disappeared down the stretch along with the rest of his team.

Sprewell played his first game of the season but couldn't reverse the New York Knicks' slide as the Philadelphia 76ers scored 17 of the final 25 points for a 93-92 victory yesterday at Madison Square Garden.

"C-plus," Sprewell said when asked to assess his performance. "I could have been a lot better."

Keith Bishop, a 31-year-old school bus driver from Hudson Falls, N.Y., got an A-plus and a $1 million check after he hit a shot from half court during a timeout promotion. He received a handshake from the 76ers' Allen Iverson and a roar from the crowd that was many times louder than the cheers that greeted Sprewell when he checked in for the first time.

Sprewell played 31 minutes and had 16 points on 6-for-15 shooting but was held scoreless for the final 10 minutes.

* MAVERICKS 96, NETS 88: Visiting Dallas clamped down on defense and remained the NBA's only unbeaten team, improving to 10-0. The Mavericks have held eight of their 10 victims under 100 points.

Steve Nash scored 30 points, Michael Finley had 20 points and 13 rebounds, Dirk Nowitzki had 18 points and 12 rebounds and Shawn Bradley scored 12.

New Jersey was held to just five points in the final 5 minutes 50 seconds, and the Mavericks kept Jason Kidd off the boards in the fourth quarter to prevent him from a triple-double.

* PISTONS 74, NUGGETS 53: In Auburn Hills, Mich., Clifford Robinson scored 17 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter as the teams combined for the lowest-scoring first half in NBA history.

Denver led 29-28, and the 57 combined points broke a 47-year-old record by one point.

Richard Hamilton added 15 and Corliss Williamson 12 for Detroit, which set a franchise mark for points allowed and it was also the lowest-scoring game in Pistons history.

Juwan Howard scored 12 points to lead the Nuggets, who broke their team record for fewest points in a game by eight.

* WARRIORS 135, MAGIC 92: Troy Murphy had a career-high 24 points and 12 rebounds in Oakland, Calif., and Gilbert Arenas had 23 points as Golden State got its biggest victory in nine years.

Jason Richardson had several spectacular dunks among his 18 points as the young Warriors reached a highlight of their rebuilding project with a blowout victory over the NBA's highest-scoring team.

* BULLS 111, GRIZZLIES 93: Donyell Marshall scored 31 points and had 17 rebounds, and Jalen Rose had 31 points in Chicago.

Jason Williams scored 18 points, and Wesley Person and Pau Gasol both had 14 for Memphis, which remained the NBA's only winless team at 0-10.

* PACERS 107, TIMBERWOLVES 101: Reserve Ron Mercer scored 22 points and Jermaine O'Neal scored 12 of his 20 points in the second half as visiting Indiana won its seventh straight game.

Off to their best start since the 1969-70 season in the ABA, the Pacers never trailed.

* HAWKS 89, HORNETS 82: Shareef Abdur-Rahim scored 27 points, and Glenn Robinson 24 as Atlanta won at home.

Theo Ratliff grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds and blocked five shots for the Hawks, who won their second straight. Atlanta converted 20 of 30 free throws, compared with New Orleans's 14 of 19.

* SPURS 90, CAVALIERS 77: Bruce Bowen scored 14 points, Tony Parker had 13 and visiting San Antonio handed Cleveland its sixth straight defeat.

Tim Duncan spent much of the night in foul trouble and played a season-low 21 minutes before fouling out with 6:06 left. Duncan, who came in averaging 20.9 points, finished with just six.

* BUCKS 104, CELTICS 85: Ray Allen scored a season-high 31 points, including 18 in the first half, and Sam Cassell added 25 for host Milwaukee.

Tim Thomas added 13 points and Toni Kukoc 11 as the Bucks beat the Celtics in Milwaukee for the seventh straight time.