The Toronto Raptors and New Jersey Nets, already having enough trouble this season, are finding new ways to foul up.
The expansion Raptors set an NBA record by not making a single free throw Tuesday night in a 92-91 loss to Charlotte.Toronto was 0-for-3 from the foul line while the Hornets were 24 of 41.
"I don't think there was a conspiracy," said Raptors general manager Isiah Thomas, who met with referees Dick Bavetta, Greg Willard and Derrick Stafford after the game.
The previous mark for fewest free throws made was one by the New Orleans Jazz on Nov. 19, 1977, against Houston. The NBA record for fewest foul shots attempted is two by Cleveland in 1994.
The struggling Nets, meanwhile, were called for a technical foul for having only four players on the court in a 92-84 loss to Orlando.
The Nets led 79-70 with eight minutes left when they returned to the court following a timeout - minus one player. They put the ball in play for about five seconds when, with the Magic pointing out the mistake, the officials realized Armon Gilliam had not rejoined the action.
Dennis Scott made the technical foul shot and the Magic reeled off a 12-0 spurt en route to their 19th straight home win.
"Just another typical day down here," Nets coach Butch Beard said. "It's not too hard to figure out. We had the chance to bury them and didn't do it."
Hornets 92, Raptors 91
While Toronto was shut out at the foul line, Dell Curry made five free throws in the final minute for Charlotte. The visiting Hornets were called for just 11 fouls to the Raptors' 27.
Curry, making just his second start in his last 358 appearances, played in place of injured Glen Rice and scored 27 points.
Magic 92, Nets 84
Orlando overcame a 12-point deficit in the last 11 minutes, outscoring New Jersey 25-5 to end the game. The visiting Nets made only one of their last 13 shots and committed six turnovers.
Dennis Scott scored 23 points for the Magic despite making just two of 17 3-pointers.
Knicks 98, Celtics 93
Patrick Ewing returned to the New York lineup for the first time this year and the Knicks became the first team to beat Boston 12 straight times.
Ewing had not played since spraining his right ankle Dec. 28. He scored nine points in 26 minutes, and his hook shot started a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter.
Hawks 104, Kings 88
Grant Long scored 20 points and Atlanta never trailed in ending Sacramento's four-game winning streak. The Hawks returned home 51/2 hours before the game after being cooped up for two days in a snowbound New Jersey hotel.
Mitch Richmond and Sarunas Marciulionis scored 19 each for the Kings, who have lost eight in a row in Atlanta since 1988.
Spurs 88, Rockets 82
Sean Elliott scored 20 points and San Antonio outshot host Houston from 3-point range. The Spurs made 9 of 19 from long range while the Rockets were 3 of 23.
The Spurs built a 21-point lead in the second quarter and not even Hakeem Olajuwon's 25 points and 15 rebounds could help Houston.
SuperSonics 97, Bucks 92
Gary Payton scored 26 points, seven of them late in the game, and Seattle beat Milwaukee for the ninth straight time. Vin Baker had 25 points and Glenn Robinson 21 for the host Bucks.
Pacers 91, Mavericks 84
Popeye Jones set a team record with 28 rebounds for Dallas in a loss to Indiana. Jones had six more rebounds than any NBA player has gotten in a game this season.
Rik Smits scored 20 points, including two free throws with 23 seconds left, for the visiting Pacers.
Clippers 105, Suns 100
Loy Vaught made two free throws and a key steal in the last 14 seconds as Los Angeles beat Phoenix.
A.C. Green had 29 points and a career-high 20 rebounds for Phoenix.
Lakers 106, Timberwolves 104
Eddie Jones hit two foul shots with 1.3 seconds left to lift Los Angeles over Minnesota.
Jones, who scored 25 points, was fouled by Tom Gugliotta as he tried a jump shot. Gugliotta had 22 points, including a tying 3-pointer with 9.1 seconds remaining.
Warriors 109, Grizzlies 103
Latrell Sprewell made four free throws in the last 12 seconds and finished with 28 points for Golden State. Last month, the Warriors beat visiting Vancouver by 31 points.