Mavs best Pistons in battle of big boys

Associated Press • Mar 19, 2007 at 12:57 PM

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 points to help the Dallas Mavericks beat the Detroit Pistons 92-88 Sunday in a matchup of the top teams from the Eastern and Western conferences.

Detroit was coming off its first 5-0 West Coast trip in 15 years, but played without All-Star point guard Chauncey Billups, who injured his groin in Friday's win at Phoenix.

Devin Harris added 22 for the Mavs, who avenged a 92-82 home loss to the Pistons on Dec. 7 by ending Detroit's five-game winning streak.

Ronald Murray scored 18 points to lead six Pistons in double figures, but Detroit had only one other player score.

NEW YORK - Stephon Marbury scored 14 of his 21 points in a dominant third quarter that lifted New York past Toronto.

Rookie Renaldo Balkman added 15 points and 12 rebounds as an energetic replacement for center Eddy Curry, who battled foul trouble and was held to five points.

Balkman made all seven shots he took, and his rebounding and defense helped spark a 27-5 run that gave the Knicks a 20-point lead.

The Knicks managed only 40 points in the first half, then scored 35 in the third quarter.

Chris Bosh scored 21 points for the Raptors, who have lost two straight.

LOS ANGELES - Kobe Bryant became the first Los Angeles player in 44 seasons with consecutive 50-point games, following a 65-point effort with 50 against Minnesota.

After shooting 23-for-39 from the field in Friday's overtime victory against Portland, Bryant was 17-for-35 against the Wolves, who lost their 10th straight road game.

The last time a Lakers player scored 50 or more in consecutive games was in December 1962, when Elgin Baylor did it in three straight contests. Only two other players in the past 10 years have recorded back-to-back 50-point games - Antawn Jamison (51-51) in December 2000 and Allen Iverson (54-51) in December 2004.

Ricky Davis scored 33 points for the Wolves and Kevin Garnett added 26 points and 15 rebounds.

MIAMI - Hedo Turkoglu scored 11 of his 20 points in the first quarter, Dwight Howard added 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Orlando ended Miami's nine-game winning streak.

Orlando, which won for only the sixth time in its past 18 games, also ended Miami's run of 14 straight wins at home by shooting 50 percent and outrebounding the Heat 44-34. Darko Milicic had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Magic.

Shaquille O'Neal scored 20 points, James Posey had 14 and Jason Williams added 10 points and six assists for Miami, which is 0-3 against the Magic this season and fell one game behind Washington in the Southeast Division.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Jason Kidd had 23 points and 13 assists, and hit four free throws in the final 18.5 seconds to lead New Jersey over Los Angeles.

Vince Carter added 22 points and Richard Jefferson had 18 points and 12 rebounds to help the Nets win for the third time in four games and remain in a playoff position with 15 games left in the regular season.

Mikki Moore added seven of his 13 points in the fourth quarter for New Jersey, which forced 18 turnovers by the Clippers.

Cuttino Mobley, who beat the Nets with a 3-pointer in January, scored 21 of his 27 points in the second half to lead Los Angeles, which lost for the sixth time in seven games to hurt its playoff chances.

PHILADELPHIA - Yao Ming scored 24 points, Tracy McGrady added 21, and Houston coasted past Philadelphia.

Luther Head scored 13 points off the bench for Houston, while Chuck Hayes finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds in helping the Rockets set season highs in points and margin of victory.

It was the most points allowed in a game this season by the 76ers and largest margin of defeat in Wachovia Center history.

Kyle Korver led the Sixers with 17 points.

PORTLAND, Ore. - Rashard Lewis had 27 points and 12 rebounds, and Seattle snapped a five-game losing streak.

Jamaal Magloire had 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Blazers, who have lost four straight and eight of their past 10 games.

The Sonics have won four straight at the Rose Garden.

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