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Heat finally cooled

Rockets curtail win streak at 12

Tracy McGrady scored 26 points and the Rockets snapped the Miami Heat's 12-game winning streak with an 84-82 victory last night in Houston.

David Wesley scored 14 points, Yao Ming and seldom-used forward Clarence Weatherspoon added 12, and aging center Dikembe Mutombo gave the Rockets a lift off the bench to keep the NBA's top-scoring twosome of Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade in check.

McGrady, who scored a total of 37 points and shot just 27 percent in the previous two games, struggled again to find his shot, going 8 of 27, but made all the clutch plays down the stretch.

O'Neal led Miami with 23 points and 16 rebounds, getting the better of his personal rivalry with Yao. Wade added 20 on just 4-of-19 shooting.

Nets 98, Pacers 91 -- Host New Jersey won its fifth straight game, getting 33 points from Vince Carter.

Rookie center Nenad Krstic scored 7 of his 15 points during a 14-2 run that put the Nets in control midway through the final period, and Carter and Travis Best provided enough offense the rest of the way to give New Jersey a sweep of its back-to-back set against the Pacers.

Cavaliers 91, Pistons 76 -- LeBron James scored 29 points and got some sorely needed help from the Cleveland bench against visiting Detroit to give interim coach Brendan Malone a win in his first game.

Malone gave more playing time to Anderson Varejao and other reserves and it paid off. Varejao scored 11 points and played tough defense with a couple of blocks that ignited Cleveland.

Suns 105, Hawks 94 -- At Atlanta, Amare Stoudemire had 40 points and 13 rebounds to help Phoenix become the ninth NBA team to win 50 games following a 50-loss season.

The Suns improved the league's best road record to 27-7 with an eighth straight victory outside Phoenix. They can tie the franchise record for consecutive road wins tonight in Charlotte.

Jazz 115, Lakers 107 -- Mehmet Okur had 27 points and 16 rebounds and host Utah broke a nine-game skid by handing Los Angeles its sixth straight loss.

Kobe Bryant had 43 points for the Lakers, making 9 of 15 3-pointers, but missed all four of his threes in the fourth quarter.

Nuggets 127, Wizards 98 -- DerMarr Johnson had 20 points and Denver rolled over Washington at home to move three games ahead of Minnesota for the final Western playoff spot.

SuperSonics 92, Bucks 84 -- Rashard Lewis scored 29 points and Luke Ridnour added a career-high 21, leading host Seattle over Milwaukee.

Kings 112, Trail Blazers 93 -- Kenny Thomas had 24 points and 9 rebounds and coach Rick Adelman got his 700th career victory in host Sacramento's win.

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