Grant Hill scored 17 points and had nine rebounds, and Steve Francis nearly posted a triple-double in the Magic's 94-84 victory over the Dallas Mavericks last night in Orlando.
Hill entered yesterday's game averaging 15 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists -- numbers below his career averages. But he performed well against Dallas, despite seven turnovers, to help the Magic improve to 3-1.
"We've still got a lot more improvement," Hill said. "I know I do, but that's why it's early in the season for us. . . . As long as we can continue to get better and learn how to win games in different styles."
Francis had 16 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists, Hedo Turkoglu had 19 points in a reserve role, and rookie Dwight Howard added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Orlando.
* NETS 64, TRAIL BLAZERS 60: Alonzo Mourning scored 14 points, including two layups down the stretch, and host New Jersey found some late offense to beat Portland in what was nearly the lowest scoring game in modern NBA history.
The 124-point total was only five off the previous record for combined scoring futility. Boston beat Milwaukee, 62-57, in a game in Providence, R.I., in 1955, the first year of the NBA's 24-second clock.
* CAVALIERS 93, HAWKS 79: LeBron James scored 25 points, including two dunks and a three-pointer in a three-minute span of the third quarter, and Cleveland won in Atlanta.
* KNICKS 96, 76ERS 88: Jamal Crawford scored 22 points to help Lenny Wilkens get his 1,316th career coaching victory. Stephon Marbury had 13 points and 12 assists and Nazr Mohammed scored 18 points for New York.
* PACERS 102, TIMBERWOLVES 101: Jermaine O'Neal had 22 points and eight rebounds to help visiting Indiana hold off Minnesota.
* SUNS 94, BULLS 74: Amare Stoudemire had 26 points and a season-high 15 rebounds to lead four players in double figures, and visiting Phoenix routed Chicago for its fourth straight victory.
* LAKERS 106, HORNETS 98: Kobe Bryant scored 31 points -- including 14 of 14 from the free throw line -- to lead Los Angeles to a victory that dropped host New Orleans to 0-4 for the first time since the 1989-90 season, when the team was still new in Charlotte.
"We played three excellent quarters," Bryant said.
* SUPERSONICS 108, NUGGETS 88: Ray Allen scored 30 points to help visiting Seattle prolong Denver's early-season misery. Rashard Lewis scored 27 points and the Sonics improved to 3-1.
* KINGS 108, RAPTORS 92: Chris Webber had 21 points, 11 rebounds and 11 of host Sacramento's 31 assists in its first victory of the season.
* ROCKETS 90, GRIZZLIES 87: Juwan Howard scored 20 points, Yao Ming added 14 points and 11 rebounds, and host Houston kept Memphis winless, despite losing Tracy McGrady to a hip injury.
McGrady left midway through the third quarter with a right hip strain and didn't return. He said he wasn't sure if he'd play Thursday.