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Pistons block Arenas' last shot, top Wizards 98-96

KWAME Brown prevented Gilbert Arenas from a stunning finish to his first NBA game in almost a year by blocking his last-seconds shot to preserve the Detroit Pistons' 98-96 victory over the Washington Wizards yesterday.

Arenas finished with 15 points and 10 assists in 30 minutes in his first game since April 27, 2008. The three-time All-Star had missed 156 of his team's previous 173 games, including playoffs, thanks to a knee injury that spawned two overeager comeback attempts and three surgeries over an 18-month span.

Richard Hamilton, back after missing six games with a left groin injury, scored 16 of his 31 points in the third quarter as the Pistons broke a three-game losing streak and moved within percentage points of Chicago for seventh place in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Bulls 112, Pacers 106

At Chicago, John Salmons scored 22 points and hit two late 3-pointers as Chicago pulled out a wild victory over Indiana for its fourth straight win.

Ben Gordon added 25 points as the Bulls matched their longest win streak in two years.

Danny Granger scored 32 and Brandon Rush added a career-high 29 for the Pacers.

Heat 102, Bucks 85

At Miami, Dwyane Wade scored 27 points, Udonis Haslem had 16 points and 12 rebounds for his 100th career double-double, and Miami improved its stance in the Eastern Conference playoff chase by beating reeling Milwaukee.

James Jones and Michael Beasley each scored 11 and Jermaine O'Neal added 10 for the Heat, who snapped a two-game losing streak.

Richard Jefferson scored 32 and Dan Gadzuric had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Milwaukee, which lost its fifth straight.

Bobcats 96, Knicks 85

At Charlotte, North Carolina, Gerald Wallace had 23 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, and Charlotte matched a modest franchise record for victories by beating New York.

Larry Brown earned a split in the season series with his former team, coaching the fifth-year Bobcats to their 33rd win in his first season to stay in the hunt for their first playoff berth.

Wilson Chandler and Al Harrington scored 18 points apiece for the Knicks, who lost for the seventh time in eight games.

Jazz 104, Suns 99, OT

At Salt Lake City, Deron Williams scored seven of his 21 points in overtime as Utah rallied to beat Phoenix, blowing a 21-point, third-quarter lead before tying it with a frenzied comeback at the end of regulation.

Williams also had 13 assists and scored Utah's last four points during a 9-2 run to close the fourth quarter and force overtime with the game tied at 90-90. Williams only had one field goal in overtime, but was 5-for-5 from the foul line and made all nine of his free throws for the night.

Mehmet Okur finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds for the Jazz, who won their 14th straight at home.

Steve Nash scored 20 points and Grant Hill added 19 points for the Suns.

Nuggets 129, Warriors 116

At Denver, Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points and Linas Kleiza had 22 as Denver won its third straight.

Chauncey Billups had 14 and Chris Andersen added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Nuggets.

Jamal Crawford had 30 points and Kelenna Azubuike scored 21 for the Warriors, who have lost four straight and five of their last six.

Rockets 110, Clippers 93

At Houston, Yao Ming had 21 points and 15 rebounds as Houston led from start to finish in an easy victory over Los Angeles.

Aaron Brooks added 21 points, Shane Battier scored 15 and the Rockets stayed in third place in the Western Conference by beating the Clippers for the 20th time in the last 24 meetings.

Eric Gordon scored 17 and Chris Kaman had 16 points for the Clippers, who played without Baron Davis (calf strain/ulcers) and leading rebounder Marcus Camby (sprained left ankle). Los Angeles has lost 11 of its last 12 road games.

Trail Blazers 86, Grizzlies 66

At Portland, Oregon, Brandon Roy had 21 points and eight rebounds to lead Portland to its sixth straight victory over Memphis. LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points for the Blazers.

O.J. Mayo had 12 points while Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol each added 10 for the Grizzlies, who have lost 10 of their last 12 games. They were held to their lowest scoring output this season.


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