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Magic falters late, lets game slip away

Published Dec. 9, 2006

Chauncey Billups scored a season-high 31 on 11-of-16 shooting, leading the Pistons to an 87-83 victory over the Magic on Friday night in a matchup of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

Richard Hamilton hit baseline jumpers on consecutive possessions in the last 1-1/2 minutes to give the Pistons an 86-82 lead. The Magic made four costly fourth-quarter turnovers for six Pistons points to let the game slip away late.

Dwight Howard, celebrating his 21st birthday, had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Magic. Grant Hill had 12 points and four assists, and Trevor Ariza scored 10 points.

Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu was carried off the court in the first quarter after spraining his right ankle.

Suns 116, Celtics 111

BOSTON - Shawn Marion had 29 points and Steve Nash added 16 points and 14 assists for the Suns, who extended their winning streak to nine games.

Pacers 108, Trail Blazers 95

INDIANAPOLIS - Jamaal Tinsley had 20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists to lead the Pacers. Forward Jermaine O'Neal missed the game with a sore left hamstring.

Rockets 92, Bobcats 62

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Tracy McGrady scored 23 and Yao Ming added 21 for the Rockets, who allowed the fewest points in franchise history. The Bobcats committed 21 turnovers and missed 22 of their first 27 shots.

Iverson done with 76ers? Star out, hints at trade

PHILADELPHIA - Allen Iverson's tumultuous career with the 76ers took another turn when the former MVP hinted a trade may be best after the team sent him home and ruled him out of the next two games.

With his name swirling in heavy trade rumors, Iverson didn't play against the Wizards, and 76ers president Billy King said the All-Star would not play today. King would not say whether Iverson had asked for a trade or whether he was actively trying to trade the team's franchise player.

PROJECT CLEARS HURDLE: Nets owner Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards development project was approved by the Empire State Development Corp. in New York, a major step forward in his bid to move the team to Brooklyn. The $4-billion project would reshape Brooklyn with a basketball arena, office towers and thousands of apartments. The next step is a final review by the state Public Authorities Control Board.

WILLIAMS IN MINORS: Jason Williams, the 2002 college player of the year whose NBA career was derailed after a motorcycle crash, signed with the Austin Toros of the developmental league. Williams, a guard from Duke, was the No. 2 overall pick by the Bulls in the 2002 draft. He averaged 9.5 points and 4.7 assists during his rookie season, then broke his pelvis and tore knee ligaments in a June 19, 2003, crash in Chicago. The Bulls released him in February 2004 after agreeing to pay part of his salary.

BOBCATS: Point guard Brevin Knight is out until at least the middle of next week with a strained left calf.

GRIZZLIES: Forward Pau Gasol has been cleared for full contact drills and on-court workouts as he recovers from a broken left foot.

SONICS: Shooting guard Ray Allen is out for two weeks because of a bone bruise in his right ankle.