Sunday, March 23, 2003

Hawks stop O'Neal's shot at victory for Pacers

The Associated Press

ATLANTA - Was it a block or was it a foul? Theo Ratliff blocked Jermaine O'Neal's potential game-winning dunk in the final seconds Saturday night to help the Atlanta Hawks to a 92-89 victory over Indiana, sending the Pacers to their 11th consecutive road loss.

O'Neal felt he was fouled, but no call was made.

"No matter how much you harp on it, it's not going to change anything," O'Neal said. "They didn't make the call, so I'm going with it."

With 6.4 seconds remaining and Atlanta leading 90-89, O'Neal took an inbounds pass at the top of key and drove down the left side of the lane past Shareef Abdur-Rahim. O'Neal jumped for a dunk, but Ratliff, who was guarding Brad Miller, instead moved in for his ninth block.

"I was doing what I do, helping my teammates out on defense," Ratliff said. "Fortunately, I was able to get the block and not foul him."

Dion Glover hit two free throws to end the scoring with six-tenths of a second remaining. The Pacers had one last attempt, but Austin Croshere missed a 3-pointer.

Glover scored the go-ahead bucket when O'Neal was called for goaltending with 6.4 seconds left.

O'Neal scored 13 of his game-high 29 points in the fourth quarter.

The Pacers hadn't lost 11 straight on the road since the start of the 1990-91 season.

Mavericks 102, Suns 95

DALLAS - Dirk Nowitzki scored 16 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter despite foul trouble, and Steve Nash had 27 points and 13 assists as Dallas rallied from a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit.

The Suns fell a half game behind the idle Houston Rockets in the race for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.

Bucks 93, Hornets 85

MILWAUKEE - Sam Cassell scored 11 of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter as the Milwaukee gave George Karl his 700th NBA victory.

The Bucks took a one-game lead on idle Washington for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. New Orleans (40-31) remained fifth.

Karl's NBA record is 700-494 (.586) in 16 seasons, with Cleveland, Golden State, Seattle and Milwaukee.

Jazz 91, Clippers 82

SALT LAKE CITY - Andrei Kirilenko had 17 points and six blocked shots as Utah Jazz held Los Angeles to the lowest field goal percentage in franchise history.

The Clippers shot 10-of-21 in the fourth quarter but finished at 26.3 percent (21-of-80). Their franchise low was 26.8 percent against Houston on Feb. 28, 2000.

Bulls 100, Knicks 98

CHICAGO - Eddy Curry scored a career-high 30 points and Jamal Crawford added 22 points and 10 assists Saturday night as Chicago held on to win.

Kurt Thomas led the Knicks with 20 points and Allan Houston had 19, including 10 in the fourth quarter. New York shot 39 percent from the filed and dropped three games behind Milwaukee for eighth place in the East.

Nets 107, Grizzlies 99

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Kerry Kittles scored 25 points, Jason Kidd had a season-high 18 assists and New Jersey had a 64-point first half on the way to victory.

Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson added 17 points apiece for the Nets, who opened a 11/2-game lead over idle Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division.

Jason Williams 24 points and 11 assists for the Grizzlies.

Full coverage at

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