The Dallas Mavericks have won eight straight games, and the latest victory means the most.
Michael Finley scored 23 points, including the go-ahead 18-footer with 1:58 left, and the Mavericks won, 108-99, yesterday over the visiting Sacramento Kings, who entered with the Western Conference's best record.
After Sacramento (30-12) fought back from a 10-point deficit to tie the game at 97 on Mike Bibby's 3-pointer with 2:14 left, the Mavericks scored 9 straight points to clinch the victory.
Finley's shot put the Mavericks ahead, and after a Kings miss, Steve Nash passed to Dirk Nowitzki for a layup and then added the free throw that put the Mavericks over 100 points with 1:28 to go.
Nash had 21 points and a season-high 13 assists, with just one turnover. Nowitzki had 20 points and 12 rebounds.
Timberwolves 99, Suns 95 -- Sam Cassell scored 14 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter, leading host Minnesota to its fourth straight win and into a tie with Sacramento for the best record (30-12) in the Western Conference. Kevin Garnett had 19 points, 17, rebounds and 8 assists as Minnesota extended its home winning streak to 11 games.
Shawn Marion had 31 points and 13 rebounds for the Suns, who have lost three straight games and fell to 16-29, the worst record in the West.
Rockets 99, Magic 87 -- Yao Ming scored 21 of his career-high 37 points in the third quarter to cover up an awful game by Steve Francis, and visiting Houston won for the sixth time in seven games. Francis, Houston's leading scorer, had only 7 points -- 10 below his average -- and missed eight of 11 shots. Tracy McGrady scored 31 points for Orlando, but was held scoreless in the fourth quarter.
Bulls 96, Raptors 89 -- Jamal Crawford scored 27 points and host Chicago broke a six-game losing streak by handing Toronto its fifth straight loss. Vince Carter, in his second game back since missing three with a quadriceps injury, shot just 6 of 23 while scoring 14 points. Chris Bosh led the Raptors with 23 points and had 10 rebounds.
Grizzlies 106, Nuggets 88 -- Bonzi Wells scored 17 points and Memphis extended its franchise-record winning streak to eight games with a win over visiting Denver. Memphis shot 26 for 37 after the break and outscored Denver, 64-39, in the second half for its seventh straight home win.
Hawks 91, Pistons 82 -- Jason Terry scored 22 points and Stephen Jackson added 21 to help shorthanded Atlanta end host Detroit's nine-game home winning streak. Atlanta only dressed nine players because of to injuries, but still ended its four-game losing streak on the road. Reserve Corliss Williamson matched a season-high with 20 points for Detroit, but the Pistons' starters combined to score just 41.