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Murray leads Hawks over Timberwolves

FLIP Murray scored a season-best 30 points while Mike Bibby and Joe Johnson each added 20 as the Atlanta Hawks won their season-high eighth straight home game, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 109-97 last night.

It was Atlanta's eighth win in nine games and the Hawks are 28-7 at Philips Arena. It was the fifth straight loss for the Timberwolves.

The home streak is the longest for Atlanta since Nov. 12, 1996-Feb. 12, 1997, when the Hawks won 20 in row. Atlanta has three tough ones at home starting Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs, then Friday night against Boston and Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Randy Foye led Minnesota with 19 points, while Kevin Love added 17.

Celtics 90, Clippers 77

At Boston, Ray Allen scored 20 points and the Boston Celtics, sparked by an alley-oop dunk from Kevin Garnett, pulled away from the Los Angeles Clippers.

Rajon Rondo added 14 points and seven assists, while Kendrick Perkins scored 12 points and had 13 rebounds for Boston (54-18).

Garnett played 18 minutes, hitting all five field-goal attempts while scoring 12 points. He added two rebounds and two assists in his third game back since missing 13 with a sprained right knee.

Magic 106, Knicks 102

At New York, Dwight Howard had 29 points and 14 rebounds, Hedo Turkoglu led a big fourth-quarter rally, and the Orlando Magic tuned up for a showdown with Boston by beating the New York Knicks.

Turkoglu scored 12 of his 16 points in the final period for the Magic, who now need one win to clinch their second straight Southeast Division title. That could come Wednesday, when they host the Celtics in a game where second place in the Eastern Conference will be at stake.

Orlando is a game behind Boston for the No. 2 seed. Courtney Lee scored 22 points on some clutch free throws shooting for the Magic, who have won three in a row, the last two coming in a sweep of a home-and-home series with the Knicks.

Nate Robinson scored 19 for New York, which dropped its fifth straight in a late-season collapse after entertaining hopes of a playoff spot a week ago.

Heat 94, Grizzlies 82

At Miami, Dwyane Wade scored 27 points to top his own Miami single-season record, plus added eight assists as the Heat easily beat the Memphis Grizzlies.

Wade now has 2,064 points this season, 24 more than his previous best, set in the 2005-06 championship season. He got the record on a layup 2 minutes into the game, part of an 11-0 start that got Miami rolling.

Michael Beasley had 17 points and nine rebounds, Udonis Haslem scored 11 points and Jamaal Magloire finished with 10 points and a season-high 12 rebounds for Miami.

O.J. Mayo scored 21 for the Grizzlies, who started a four-game road trip by losing for the 17th time in 19 games. Rudy Gay was held to eight for Memphis, matching his third-lowest output this season.

Bulls 101, Wizards 99

At Washington, Ben Gordon scored seven of his 21 points in the final 3? minutes, and the Chicago Bulls nearly stumbled again in their mediocre march toward the playoffs last night before hanging on for a victory over Washington.

The Bulls had an 11-point lead whittled to one over the final 6 minutes. Washington's Nick Young made the score 100-99 with a 3-pointer with 3.6 seconds to play, but Gordon made one of two free throws with 2.6 seconds remaining. After Gordon missed the second attempt, Antawn Jamison missed a desperation 40-foot shot at the buzzer.

John Salmons added 19 points for the Bulls, who have won four of five to improve to five games under .500, good enough to hold down the final playoff spot in the generously spread out Eastern Conference standings.

Jamison finished with 34 points and 12 rebounds for the Wizards, who have lost five straight.

Suns 118, Nuggets 115

At Phoenix, Grant Hill scored 23 points and Jason Richardson added 22 as the Phoenix Suns extended their season-high winning streak to five games.

Hill hit a 12-foot jump shot with 58.6 seconds remaining to give the Suns a 115-113 lead, then made a foul shot with 6.2 seconds left after Denver's Chauncey Billups missed a leaning 8-footer.

Billups, fouled by Hill with 5.4 seconds left to prevent the Nuggets from attempting a tying 3-pointer, made both free throws to cut the Suns' lead to 116-115. The Nuggets fouled Steve Nash on the inbound play, and he made both foul shots with 3.9 seconds left.

Carmelo Anthony led the Nuggets with 29 points, but missed a 3 in the final second.

Kenyon Martin had 18 points, and J.R. Smith added 14 for Denver, which had won five straight.

76ers 104, Trail Blazers 103, OT

At Portland, Andre Miller had 27 points and 10 rebounds and Thaddeus Young and Andre Iguodala scored 25 points each as the Philadelphia 76ers rallied in overtime to beat the Trail Blazers.

The Sixers (36-33) scored eight consecutive points in overtime, including a rebound basket by Miller with 1:55 left to give Philadelphia a 104-103 lead.

Young hit 10 of 15 shots and scored 17 of his 25 points during the second half. Philadelphia went 35-of-39 from the free-throw line, and hit 51.4 percent (38-of-74) of its shots.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Blazers, tied for second place with Utah in the Northwest Division and one game behind first-place Denver.


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