NEW YORK, Reuters
Marcus Camby had 16 points and 15 rebounds as the New York Knicks struck a blow for the Eastern Conference with a 91-78 victory over the West-leading Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.
“A lot has been made between the matchup between the East and the West,” Knicks guard Allan Houston said. “We are conscious of it. Whether you win or lose these type of games, you do want to come out and make a statement.”
Camby had 14 points and 13 rebounds in the first half as the Knicks used a 10-0 first-quarter run to take the lead for good en route to a 49-37 halftime advantage.
Charlie Ward scored a season-high 17 points as New York extended its NBA record by allowing fewer than 100 points for the 30th straight game. The Knicks have won eight of their last nine games and three straight with Portland.
“It doesn’t matter, West or East,” Ward said. “The West is strong, but we just go out and play hard, play good ‘D’ (defense) and play hard as a team.”
Rasheed Wallace had 13 points, 13 rebounds and picked up his league-leading 20th technical foul for Portland, which had little trouble beating Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia 93-75 on Wednesday.
In Utah, feuding Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers were done in by another dynamic duo as John Stockton had 21 points and 11 assists and Karl Malone added 20 points and nine rebounds in the Jazz’s 111-103 victory.
O’Neal, the victim of several hard fouls, blew a fuse in the third quarter when Jazz center Olden Polynice roughed him up on a layup attempt. Referees called a flagrant foul, but O’Neal threw a wild punch at Polynice that missed.
O’Neal was slapped with a technical and had to be calmed down before going to the line and making 2-of-3 free throws. But the Lakers already were down 71-61 and Malone and Stockton made sure Los Angeles did not come back.
The duo combined to score 15 of Utah’s 29 points in the final period as the Jazz improved to 2-1 against the Lakers this season with one more regular-season meeting April 3.
O’Neal scored 30 points and Bryant 27 for the Lakers, who have lost two of three since reports of their feud surfaced.
In Philadelphia, Allen Iverson knocked down his first 10 shots, going nearly 13 minutes without a miss as the league-leading 76ers beat the San Antonio Spurs 100-83.
The All-Star point guard scored 40 points, finishing 17-of-29 from the floor and 6-of-7 at the line as the Sixers (27-9) cruised to their ninth win in 10 games while ending San Antonio’s season-high five-game winning streak.
At Indiana, Reggie Miller drew a flagrant foul and the first of two technicals on Miami coach Pat Riley to turn back a fourth-quarter rally as the Pacers beat the Heat 87-71.
Jalen Rose had 21 points and six assists and Jermaine O’Neal added 18 points and eight rebounds for Indiana.
In Dallas, Shawn Marion had 23 points, 11 rebounds and six steals as the Phoenix Suns handed the Mavericks their third straight home loss, 103-86.
The Mavericks, who were without starting point guard Steve Nash (hamstring injury), committed 23 turnovers, 14 more than Phoenix.
In Houston, Maurice Taylor’s turnover with 1.7 seconds left — the 19th by the Rockets — sealed the Sacramento Kings’ 84-81 triumph.
Chris Webber scored 31 points, including a clutch dunk in the final 17 seconds, as Sacramento won for the 10th time in 14 games. Peja Stojakovic and Vlade Divac added 18 points apiece.
Steve Francis led Houston with 23 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.
In Vancouver, the Grizzlies got their first-ever victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, 119-107.
Michael Dickerson scored a season high 32 points and Mike Bibby added 20 and 16 assists as Vancouver ended an eight-game losing streak against Cleveland.
In Atlanta, on the night they retired Dominique Wilkins’ uniform number 21, the Hawks got a season-high 28 points from Lorenzen Wright en route to a 108-88 thrashing of the Los Angeles Clippers.
In Milwaukee, Glenn Robinson scored a season-high 35 points to lead the Bucks to their ninth straight home win, a 115-81 rout of the lowly New Jersey Nets.
In Orlando, Tracy McGrady scored 27 points as the Magic posted a 111-94 victory over the Golden State Warriors.