Rose's shot has thorns for Cavs

Juneau's Boozer posts a double-double for Cleveland, but Toronto wins game at buzzer

Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2004

CLEVELAND - Jeff McInnis is nursing two new injuries: a sprained left ankle and some severely damaged NBA playoff hopes.

Jalen Rose made a 3-pointer in the final second, and the Toronto Raptors ended a seven-game losing streak - and perhaps Cleveland's postseason chances - with an 87-86 victory over the Cavaliers on Tuesday night.

"We worked so hard," said McInnis, who returned to the lineup after missing six straight games with a bruised right shoulder. "Jalen got an open look, and it just hurts, because we worked so hard the whole game."

Rose's 3-pointer with six-tenths of a second left capped a gorgeous final possession that kept Toronto's playoff pulse beating for at least another game.

A loss would have eliminated the Raptors from the playoffs.

"They stepped it up," Toronto coach Kevin O'Neill said. "This was a good win."

The Cavs' fifth straight loss dropped them three games behind idle Boston for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Toronto is four back of the Celtics.

Vince Carter scored 32 points, Rose added 15 and Donyell Marshall had 13 points and 11 rebounds for Toronto. The Raptors, who scored just eight points in the third quarter, finished with a season-high 12 blocks.

LeBron James scored 21 points, Juneau's Carlos Boozer had 18 points and 15 rebounds, Jeff McInnis added 16 points and 10 assists, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas affed 14 points and 15 boards for Cleveland.

McInnis sparked the Cavaliers, who had gone 1-9 since the point guard bruised his shoulder in a March 16 win over Chicago. The Cavaliers, back to looking like a playoff-caliber team, led 86-84 after James made two free throws with 11.6 seconds left.

Toronto called timeout and Cleveland figured the ball would go to Carter, which it did. The Raptors' All-Star guard was then able to drive the lane, forcing the Cavs' defense to collapse on him.

Carter then kicked the ball outside and the Raptors alertly reversed it around the key to a wide-open Rose, who gathered himself and buried his 3-pointer.

"Everybody wants to take the shot that wins an NBA game," Rose said. "Everybody counts down five, four, three, two, one - whether you're playing your big brother or the guy down the street.

"Everybody wants to be in that position. Tonight I was, and I hit the shot."

Kings 105, Hornets 91

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Brad Miller had 20 points and 10 rebounds in his first game back from an elbow injury, and the Sacramento Kings stayed atop the Western Conference.

Peja Stojakovic scored 26 points and Chris Webber had 24 for the Kings, who still can't find the poise and chemistry they've lost since Webber's return from a knee injury.

Trail Blazers 91, Lakers 80

LOS ANGELES - Damon Stoudamire scored 24 points, and Zach Randolph had 22 points, nine rebounds and five assists as the Portland Trail Blazers gave their playoff hopes a boost.

The Blazers (40-37) won for the 10th time in 14 games to move within a half-game of Utah for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff berth. Portland and Denver are tied for ninth place.

Mavericks 118, SuperSonics 108

DALLAS - Michael Finley scored 24 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 23 and the Dallas Mavericks extended their winning streak to five games.

Antawn Jamison had 17 points, Marquis Daniels added 16 points and Steve Nash contributed 14 points and 14 assists to help Dallas improve to 34-5 at home.

Warriors 97, Rockets 90

OAKLAND, Calif. - Troy Murphy scored 20 points, and the Golden State Warriors sent the fading Houston Rockets to their fifth straight loss.

Jason Richardson added 19 points as the Warriors won for the 10th time in 12 games. Clifford Robinson had 10 points and a career-high 10 assists. Speedy Claxton added 16 points and Mike Dunleavy 12.

Pistons 102, Magic 86

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Rasheed Wallace had 17 points and 11 rebounds to help the Detroit Pistons hand the Orlando Magic their 11th straight loss.

Bucks 103, Nets 98

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Milwaukee Bucks spoiled the long-awaited return of All-Stars Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin, rallying from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the New Jersey Nets.

76ers 103, Hawks 100, OT

ATLANTA - Rookie Willie Green scored a career-high 26 points and Samuel Dalembert added 18 points and 18 rebounds.

Pacers 107, Knicks 86

INDIANAPOLIS - Ron Artest had 26 points and Jermaine O'Neal had 20 points and nine rebounds to lead Indiana in Isiah Thomas' return to Conseco Fieldhouse. The Knicks' team president attended a game at the arena for the first time since being fired as Pacers coach in August.

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