Archive for Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Raptors win home finale, 87-78

April 14, 2004

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— Breaking with past practice, nobody addressed the crowd after the Raptors played their final home game of the season.

Perhaps it was because no one was certain what was ahead for Toronto.

Donyell Marshall had 27 points and 16 rebounds as the Raptors ended Detroit's eight-game winning streak with a 87-78 victory Tuesday night.

Vince Carter added 19 points for the lottery-bound Raptors, who will end their season tonight at Milwaukee.

The Raptors, who are 32-49, did not have a front office person speak to the crowd after the final home game of the season. Former general manager Glen Grunwald traditionally has addressed and been booed by the crowd, but the Raptors fired him April 1.

Team president Richard Peddie has said a new general manager will decide whether coach Kevin O'Neill returns or not. O'Neill also could be bought out of his contract as soon as Thursday.

"If I end up getting fired I might just go ahead and watch my son play baseball for a year and do some broadcasting and just chill out a little bit," said O'Neill, whose 17-year-old son lives in Arizona.

Detroit's Ben Wallace became the first player in league history to have four consecutive seasons of at least 1,000 rebounds, 100 steals and 100 blocks. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon and Sam Lacey all did it three times.

Wallace needed one rebound in Detroit's season finale to do it. He finished with seven rebounds and 15 points.

"That's just one of the things that comes with playing hard," Wallace said. "That's been my assignment for the last couple of years, to go out and rebound and defend and make things happen on the defensive end."

At 54-28, Detroit finished third in the East. The Pistons won't know who they will face in the playoffs until tonight. Pistons point guard Chauncey Billups missed the game because of a sprained ankle, while forward Rasheed Wallace sat out with a sore left arch.

Mavs 110, Grizzlies 103

Dallas -- Rookie Marquis Daniels continued his roll with 30 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, helping Dallas secure the No. 5 spot in the Western Conference playoffs.

The Mavs finished 36-5 at home, tops in the league and the best in the franchise's 24-year history. However, by going 15-25 on the road, Dallas can't play host to a playoff series -- a first for the league's best home team since Utah in 1990-91.

Memphis, which lost its third straight and fifth in six games, trailed by 13 after one quarter and was down at least nine until the final minute.

Clippers 98, Suns 96

Phoenix -- Chris Wilcox's basket at the buzzer snapped the Clippers' 13-game skid. Wilcox, who scored a career-high 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, had put the Clippers up 96-93 on a tip-in with 16.2 seconds left.

Lakers 109, Warriors 104

Los Angeles -- Kobe Bryant bounced back from one of the least productive games of his career and scored a season-high 45 points. The victory was just the second in five games following an 11-game winning streak for the Lakers (55-26) and lifted them into a tie for the Pacific Division lead with Sacramento.

Since the Kings hold the tiebreaker by virtue of winning the season series 3-1, the Lakers can win the division title only if they win at Portland and the Kings lose at Golden State in the regular-season finales tonight.

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