The NBA playoffs are still months away, but you wouldn't know it by the game faces of the Phoenix Suns.
Rex Chapman scored seven of his 26 points in the final 6:36 as the Suns snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Los Angeles Lakers with a 110-103 win Wednesday night."It was pretty intense out there, like a playoff game for us," said Chapman, who made a key basket with 91 seconds remaining to blunt a Laker rally. "We kept our composure and focus out there and everybody made plays. The big thing is we gained a full game on them in the standings. We want to make a run and finish as strong as we can."
Cliff Robinson added 25 points and Antonio McDyess had 20 and 11 rebounds for the Suns, who won their third in a row and eighth in the last 11 games.
Los Angeles dropped its third straight despite Shaquille O'Neal's 30 points and 20 from Eddie Jones. The Lakers played without All-Star guard Nick Van Exel, who has a sore right knee.
Elden Campbell, who finished with 16 points off the bench, got the Lakers within 102-100 on a three-point play with 1:48 to play.
Chapman drove the baseline and hit a running right-hander with 1:31 left and McDyess had an uncontested dunk off Robinson's feed for a 106-101 lead with 57 seconds to play.
Robinson's off-balance jumper from the left wing made it 108-103 with 20.8 seconds left to seal the Suns' first win over the Lakers since Nov. 25, 1995.
"The first two minutes of the second half were terrible for us," said Phoenix coach Danny Ainge. "We came out with no energy. But Rex rallied the guys and our three-point shooting was a big factor."
Chapman had 13 of his points in the first quarter, which ended tied at 32.
MAGIC 115, TIMBERWOLVES 102: In Orlando, Derek Harper hurt his neck and was carried from the court on a stretcher during the Magic's victory over Minnesota.
Harper was clotheslined by Tommy Hammonds as he drove to the basket with 3:06 left in the third quarter. Harper was on the floor for five minutes before being carried off by paramedics. After the game, Harper said he was OK. Hammonds was assessed a flagrant foul, and the Magic went on a 12-1 run to take a 19-point lead.
Nick Anderson scored 28 points for a second straight game.
HAWKS 114, NETS 104: Steve Smith scored 14 of his 25 points in the final 9:26 to lead Atlanta past New Jersey. Alan Henderson scored 26 points and Dikembe Mutombo had 12 points and matched a season high with eight blocked shots.
Sam Cassell led the Nets with 24 points, and rookie Keith Van Horn scored 22 as New Jersey had a five-game winning streak halted.
BUCKS 108, WIZARDS 98: Ray Allen scored 25 points and Glenn Robinson had 21, and Milwaukee pulled away when Washington went cold in the fourth quarter.
Rod Strickland finished with 33 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds for the Wizards. Elliot Perry scored a season-high 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting for the visiting Bucks.
CELTICS 114, GRIZZLIES 105: Dana Barros scored a season-high 29 points to lead Boston to victory at Vancouver, capping a day of trades for both teams.
Antoine Walker added 27 points as the Celtics won for just the second time in seven games. Sam Mack led the Grizzlies with 27 points as Vancouver lost for the eighth time in nine games.
SUPERSONICS 101, TRAIL BLAZERS 95: Nate McMillan, playing in his first game of the season, sank three 3-pointers in the final quarter as Seattle beat visiting Port-land.
Damon Stoudamire, starting his second game at point guard for the Blazers after being acquired in a trade from Toronto, had 14 points and 11 assists.
McMillan, who missed Seattle's first 51 games this season after undergoing surgery to his right knee, scored nine points in the fourth period when the Sonics pulled away to beat Portland for the third time this season. Isaiah Rider led the Blazers with 26 points on 11-for-23 shooting.
WARRIORS 88, HORNETS 77: Donyell Marshall and Tony Delk scored 20 points each to lead Golden State past Charlotte.
The Warriors beat a winning team for just the third time this season. The Hornets, playing with two starters and their sixth man on the injured list, have lost four of five games.