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Howard scores career-high 45 in win over Bobcats

DWIGHT Howard had a career-high 45 points, to go with 19 rebounds and eight blocks to lead the Orlando Magic to a 107-102 overtime victory over the Charlotte Bobcats yesterday.

The Magic got 17 points from Rashard Lewis, who joined Howard on the Eastern Conference All-Star team last weekend.

It was the 18th consecutive double-double for Howard, tying Shaquille O'Neal's franchise record.

J.J. Redick made a 3-pointer with eight seconds left in regulation to tie it and Raymond Felton missed a jumper as time expired.

Boris Diaw made a layup over Howard with 20 seconds remaining and Raja Bell made two free throws for a 95-92 lead before Redick's tying shot.

Suns 140, Clippers 100

At Phoenix, Leandro Barbosa scored 24 points and Amare Stoudemire added 23 against the Los Angeles Clippers in Alvin Gentry's debut as interim Phoenix coach.

One day after Gentry replaced Terry Porter, who was fired after a 28-23 start, the Suns wasted little time blowing out the woeful Clippers. Reverting to its favored up-tempo style, Phoenix (29-23) raced to an 81-49 halftime lead - matching a US Airways Center record for points in a half - and coasted from there.

Only the New York Knicks, led by former Suns coach Mike D'Antoni, have scored more points in a half this year - 82, against Golden State on Nov. 29, 2008.

Eric Gordon had 24 points for the Clippers.

The Clippers' Zach Randolph was ejected in the first quarter for punching Phoenix's Louis Amundson.

Knicks 112, Spurs 107, OT

At New York, Nate Robinson followed his slam dunk title by showing off his entire game, scoring 32 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in New York's win over San Antonio.

Robinson made the go-ahead basket in his third straight 30-point game. In the final game before heading to Phoenix to knock off Dwight Howard and win the slam dunk contest, he had 33 points, a career-high 15 assists, nine rebounds and five steals in an overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers - the first NBA player with 30 points plus those numbers since Magic Johnson in 1981.

Hornets 100, Thunder 98

At Oklahoma City, Chris Paul drove the lane for a layup with 2.7 seconds left as New Orleans edged Oklahoma City.

Kevin Durant scored a career-high 47 points and nailed a fallaway 3-pointer from the right wing to tie the game with 13.8 seconds to play. But that left Paul time for the winner in the arena the Hornets called home for two seasons after Hurricane Katrina.

David West led the Hornets with 37 points and 13 rebounds, while Paul finished with 21 points and eight assists.

Jeff Green added 24 points and Russell Westbrook scored 12 points for Oklahoma City.

Jazz 117, Grizzlies 99

At Salt Lake City, Andrei Kirilenko returned from an ankle injury to spark a key fourth-quarter run, C.J. Miles scored 24 points and Deron Williams had 20 points and 15 assists as Utah downed Memphis.

Kirilenko, who scored 14 points in 18 minutes, had surgery Jan. 30 to remove bone fragments from his injured right ankle and returned a couple weeks ahead of schedule to spark the Jazz, who won the fifth game in their last six and are eighth in the Western Conference.

Rockets 114, Nets 88

At Houston, Yao Ming had 20 points and 12 rebounds and Shane Battier scored a season-high 19 points as Houston beat New Jersey.

Von Wafer scored 19 points and Ron Artest added 18 for the Rockets, who outrebounded New Jersey 56-30 and set season highs in 3-point field goals (15) and assists (27) in their sixth straight win over the Nets.

Artest started in place of Tracy McGrady, who sat out for the second straight game and the 19th time this season with an injury.

Vince Carter scored 30 points and Brook Lopez added 21 for the Nets, who have lost three straight after a four-game winning streak.

Bucks 92, Pistons 86

At Auburn Hills, Michigan, Richard Jefferson scored 29 points and Ramon Sessions added 17 as Milwaukee beat Detroit.

The Bucks overcame 24 points and 14 rebounds from Antonio McDyess to pull within two games of Detroit in the Eastern Conference standings.

Malik Allen added a season-high 14 points for Milwaukee, which won its third straight.

Richard Hamilton had 22 points for the Pistons, who have lost four straight and seven of their last eight at home.

Pacers 100, 76ers 91

At Indianapolis, Danny Granger had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Troy Murphy scored 17 for Indiana, which shot 49 percent from the field in a win over Philadelphia.

Andre Iguodala had 20 points and nine assists, Louis Williams scored 17 and Thaddeus Young added 16 points and nine rebounds for Philadelphia, which had its four-game winning streak snapped.


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