Now that they have two of their best players back, the New Jersey Nets hope to get back to the playoffs after a four-year absence.
Bolstered by the return of center Jayson Williams and forward Keith Van Horn, the Nets beat the Orlando Magic 93-87 Thursday night to bolster their chances of making the playoffs for the first time since 1994.The victory, only New Jersey's second in its last 10 games, moved the Nets (35-32) a game ahead of Washington (34-33) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. The Wizards lost to the Indiana Pacers 95-91.
"We control our own destiny now," Nets guard Sam Cassell said after scoring 17 points, including six free throws in the final 41 seconds. "Now we're getting back to doing the things we were doing when we were winning before all those injuries."
PACERS 95, WIZARDS 91: Reggie Miller scored 20 points, including two free throws with 13.4 seconds left, as Indiana won at Washington.
RAPTORS 104, NUGGETS 103: Chauncey Billups, held scoreless in the first three quarters, scored 12 points in the fourth quarter and six in overtime as Toronto beat Denver.
TRAIL BLAZERS 82, KNICKS 77: Arvydas Sabonis and Brian Grant each scored 21 points as Portland won at New York despite a late field-goal drought.
HAWKS 84, BUCKS 81: Dikembe Mutombo had 18 points, 15 rebounds and eight blocks as Atlanta handed Milwaukee its eighth straight loss.
ROCKETS 105, CELTICS 96: Hakeem Olajuwon scored 15 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter as Houston won at Boston for its fifth straight victory.
MAVERICKS 88, WARRIORS 82: Shawn Bradley had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Eric Riley scored a career-high 16 points as Dallas beat Golden State.
CAVALIERS 90, KINGS 85: Shawn Kemp had 19 points and 14 rebounds as Cleveland won at Sacramento.