Glen Rice scored 29 points, including three free throws in the final nine seconds, to lift the Charlotte Hornets to a 104-98 win over the Seattle Sonics on Friday night.
The Hornets had a 48-20 edge on the boards while winning their seventh straight game.The Hornets had a 48-20 edge on the boards while winning their seventh straight game.
Vernon Maxwell scored 22 points off the bench for the Hornets, and Anthony Mason contributed 13 points and 17 rebounds.
Vin Baker paced Seattle with 25 points, and Gary Payton added 22, as the Sonics lost two straight for only the second time this season.
Payton hit an off-balance 3-pointer from the right corner to cut Charlotte's lead to 99-97 with 52 seconds left.
After a Charlotte turnover, Baker rimmed out a 12-foot turnaround jumper that would have tied the score, and Matt Geiger, who had 12 points and 11 rebounds, converted a layup at the other end for 101-97 Hornet lead with 15.1 seconds left.
Rice scored the Hornets' last three points from the line, and all Seattle could manage was a single free throw from Baker.
Seattle (45-15) scored the final five points of the third period in 33.4 seconds to cut a nine-point Charlotte lead to 76-72.
Turnovers on the Hornets' last two possessions of the quarter led to fast-break baskets by Nate McMillan and Sam Perkins, and Payton's 3-pointer from the top of the key with 11:18 left in the game made it 76-75.
Rice scored nine straight Hornets points, and Geiger added a free throw for an 86-80 lead with 8:40 left. But a 6-0 Seattle run, capped by Detlef Schrempf's 11-foot jumper from the left baseline, tied the score with 7:37 remaining.
Charlotte (37-23) enjoyed a nine-point halftime lead, sparked by a scoring burst by Maxwell.
The Hornets trailed 24-23 when Maxwell hit a 3-pointer from the right wing with 10:09 left in the second period.
A 3-pointer from the opposite side at 9:36 followed by a three-point play at 9:08 gave Maxwell nine straight points in a stretch that lasted 1:01.
LAKERS 91, SPURS 84: At Inglewood, Calif., Derek Fisher scored 10 of Los Angeles' last 17 points and Shaquille O'Neal had 23 points to lead the Lakers to a over the San Antonio Spurs.
The Lakers broke away from a 71-71 tie with 51/2 minutes left as Eddie Jones made a 3-pointer and Fisher drove twice for baskets.
CELTICS 108, WIZARDS 98: At Boston, Antoine Walker had 35 points and 13 rebounds to lead Boston to a win over Washington.
Walker, who scored a career-high 49 points in a 110-108 loss at Washington on Jan. 7, was 16-for-26 from the field. Ron Mercer added 24 points for the Celtics.
76ERS 80, KNICKS 71: At Philadelphia, Allen Iverson and Derrick Coleman each scored 22 points as Philadelphia beat New York.
After the Knicks cut the Sixers' lead to 71-69 with 2:09 left, Philadelphia scored nine straight points.
HAWKS 115, NUGGETS 94: At Atlanta, Christian Laettner scored 21 points and Atlanta had a season-high point total to hand Denver its 14th straight loss.
Tyrone Corbin added 19 points for the Hawks.
TIMBERWOLVES 113, RAPTORS 91: At Minneapolis, Kevin Garnett had 26 points and 10 rebounds Friday as Minnesota broke out of a slump with a victory over Toronto.
Stephon Marbury had 17 points and 12 assists for Minnesota.
MAGIC 91, CAVALIERS 89, OT: At Orlando, Fla., Derek Harper sank a 22-foot jumper with 14 seconds left in overtime to give Orlando a victory over Cleveland.
Nick Anderson, who banked in a 3-pointer to send the game to overtime, led Orlando with 25 points.
KINGS 98, GRIZZLIES 96: At Vancouver, British Columbia, Billy Owens hit a pair of free throws with 13.2 seconds left as Sacramento rallied to beat Vancouver.
Owens, who had 15 points and 15 rebounds, was fouled by Lee Mayberry during a scramble for a loose ball and hit both foul shots to put the Kings up by two.
PACERS 101, WARRIORS 87: At Oakland, Calif., Rik Smits scored 21 points and Indiana opened the fourth quarter with a 12-0 run to make Chris Mullin's homecoming a success with a win over Golden State.
Mullin, who played 12 years for the Warriors before being traded to Indiana before this season, had just five points in 28 minutes.