Grant rescues LA Lakers to pass Boston Celtics


Horace Grant hit a turnaround jumper at the shot clock buzzer with eight seconds left Friday night as the Los Angeles Lakers recovered after blowing a 26-point lead and beat the Boston Celtics 100-96. Shaquille O’Neal had 39 points, going 15 for-23 from the line and pulling down 14 rebounds, as the Lakers beat the Celtics for the fourth consecutive time and improved to 3-0 on their road trip. Brian Shaw had 10 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, and Rick Fox, another former Celtic, had 19 points, six rebounds and eight assists. Paul Pierce scored 30 and Antoine Walker had 21 for Boston, which has lost four of its last five games to fall 1{ games behind Indiana in the race for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. 76ers 96, Cavaliers 88 In Philadelphia, Dikembe Mutombo had a season-high 27 points and 13 rebounds and Eric Snow added 15 points as the Sixers, despite playing without Allen Iverson and Aaron McKie, clinched the Atlantic Division. Philadelphia hadn’t won a division title since 1989-90. Iverson missed his second consecutive game and Aaron McKie missed his fifth straight, and backup center Matt Geiger left the game at halftime with swelling in his left knee. Kevin Ollie, starting at point guard, had career highs of 10 assists and 10 rebounds and missed a triple-double by one point. Pacers 100, Bulls 93 In Indianapolis, Reggie Miller scored 28 points and Jalen Rose added 17 as the Indiana Pacers rallied in the fourth quarter. The Pacers, who trailed 80-77 after three quarters, regained the lead at 86-85 when Rose hit a 5-footer with 700 left. Indiana followed that with an 8-1 spurt, which made it 94-88 with 2:07 to go. Former Pacer Fred Hoiberg, who finished with 17 points, hit a 3- ointer 1:04 to go to make it 94-91, but the Pacers hit six free throws in the final 28 seconds to wrap up the victory. The Bulls were led by Elton Brand’s 30 points, one short of a season-high. Timberwolves 101, Suns 88 In Minneapolis, Kevin Garnett scored 25 points to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to their third straight victory. The Suns lost for just the second time in 10 games and were denied a chance to clinch their 13th consecutive playoff bid. The Wolves pulled within one game of the Suns in the race for seventh place in the Western Conference. Both teams have seven games remaining. The Timberwolves held off the Suns by making their first six shots — including three by Reggie Slater — of the fourth quarter. Raptors 108, Magic 100 In Orlando, Florida, Antonio Davis had a career-high 31 points and a season-high 13 rebounds and reserve guards Chris Childs and Dell Curry led a fourth-quarter charge as Toronto defeated Orlando. Toronto’s win, combined with Charlotte’s 81-76 loss at Miami, gave the Raptors a one-game lead for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Raptors are still 2{ games behind the Heat for fourth place and homecourt advantage in the first round. Orlando, which was led by Tracy McGrady’s 20 points and nine assists, is in seventh place, a game behind Charlotte. Heat 81, Hornets 76 In Miami, Alonzo Mourning sank an acrobatic go-ahead basket with 93 seconds left, and the Miami Heat rallied to beat the slumping Charlotte Hornets. For the third time in a week, the Hornets blew a big lead and lost. And Jamal Mashburn again failed to come through in the fourth quarter, as often happened when he played for the Heat. Miami moved 3{ games ahead of Charlotte in the race for home-court advantage in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Kings 118, Grizzlies 90 In Vancouver, British Columbia, Chris Webber thrived again versus the Grizzlies, scoring 36 points as Sacramento established a franchise record for road victories. The win was the 21st on the road this season for the Kings, breaking the franchise mark set in 1948-49 by the Rochester Royals. Webber, who averaged 30.5 points in six previous games against Vancouver, hit 15 of 22 shots from the field to help the Kings (51-24) pull within two games of idle San Antonio for the Western Conference lead. Reserve Damon Jones scored 17 for the Grizzlies (22-54), who failed to establish a franchise record for wins in a season. Trail Blazers 122, Warriors 91 In Oakland, California, Arvydas Sabonis scored a season-high 32 points and Damon Stoudamire had Portland’s first triple-double in more than six years. Facing a Golden State team in freefall from a season-long injury epidemic, Portland had no problem snapping its three-game losing streak. Sabonis, who played only 24 minutes, fell one point short of his career-high by hitting 11-of-12 shots from all over the court. Stoudamire had 15 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for the Blazers’ first triple double since Rod Strickland did it on Feb. 25, 1995. Clippers 113, Bucks 110, OT In Los Angeles, Rookie Darius Miles scored a career-high 26 points and the Los Angeles Clippers overcame the fourth-quarter ejections of two starters for an overtime victory over the Bucks. Lamar Odom had 18 points before being ejected with 401 to play in regulation when he picked up his second technical foul. Glenn Robinson scored 31 for Milwaukee, while Sam Cassell added 26 and Ray Allen 22.