Kings 114, Magic 108
The Sacramento Kings' fight for first place in the Pacific Division spilled onto the court in Orlando.
Orlando's Tracy McGrady hit Sacramento's Bobby Jackson in the face with the ball in the final minute of overtime Tuesday night, triggering a fistfight that overshadowed the Kings' 114-108 victory over the Magic.
Jackson took offense to McGrady's action.
"He threw the ball and it hit me in the face," said Jackson, who finished with 10 points. "I don't know who he thinks I am, but I won't stand for that. He got a little carried away. I won't take that from anybody."
After the Magic, trailing by two points, called timeout with 35.1 seconds remaining, McGrady raised up the ball to shoot, but Jackson slapped at the ball and hit his wrist.
McGrady then bounced the ball off Jackson's head, and Jackson followed by shoving McGrady with both hands in the chest. McGrady immediately tackled Jackson, and the two began to wrestle on the floor before teammates, coaches and officials could break up the fight.
McGrady, who led Orlando with 25 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, downplayed the confrontation.
"I was just turning around to shoot the ball and he snatched it out of the air," said McGrady. "I threw the ball at him because the play was dead."
The McGrady-Jackson battle shifted the focus from a well-played game, which will quickly be forgotten in favor of fines and suspensions — the likely result of the fracas once the league office reviews the tape of the game.
During the melee, Sacramento's Vlade Divac and Hidayet Turkoglu were seen leaving the bench and heading onto the floor. The pair face possible suspensions as NBA rules mandate a suspension for any player who leaves the bench area during a fight on the court.
"It's bad that the McGrady and Jackson issue is what we will be talking about for the next few days," Orlando coach Doc Rivers said.
Webber, who had 33 points and 15 rebounds, said the scuffle was a product of the players' emotions running high.
"You know, there's fights in every sport, and it's only because how passionate guys are playing, protecting their manhood," said Webber, who had his 37th double-double of the season. "So, that's all it was. Nothing more, nothing less."
McGrady expects to hear from the league offices.
"Whatever they give me, I'll take it, but I definitely don't deserve it," said McGrady, who earlier Tuesday was warned by the NBA that comments he made regarding Webber, a possible free agent, coming to Orlando next season could be construed as tampering. "I didn't throw a punch, I didn't throw the first blow."
KNICKS 98, CAVALIERS 79: Glen Rice scored 17 points in his first start since Dec. 30 and host New York easily overcame the absence of starters Latrell Sprewell and Larry Johnson.
Sprewell sat out with an upper respiratory infection and Johnson missed his fourth straight game with a sore back, but the Knicks didn't miss either in extending their home winning streak to five games.
Allan Houston scored 20 points, Marcus Camby had 18, Othella Harrington came off the bench to add 12 and Mark Jackson had 10 assists for the Knicks, who had lost their previous four meetings with the Cavs.
Chris Gatling led Cleveland with 13 points.
BUCKS 101, RAPTORS 97: Ray Allen scored 29 points as visiting Milwaukee snapped a two-game losing streak.
Milwaukee reserve Tim Thomas finished with 23 points. Sam Cassell had 21 points and Glenn Robinson added 18.
Vince Carter, the only Toronto starter to play in the fourth quarter, had 24 points and nine rebounds. Morris Peterson had 17 points.
MAVERICKS 122, NETS 98: Juwan Howard had 27 points and nine rebounds and Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Finley each scored 25 points as host Dallas extended its winning streak to four and won for the seventh time in eight games.
Shawn Bradley had 12 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots, and Steve Nash added 11 assists as the Mavericks finished with a season-high point total and won their 41st game, one more than last season.
Johnny Newman scored 18 points and Stephon Marbury 15 for the Nets, who lost for the sixth time in eight games.
HAWKS 109, GRIZZLIES 99: Toni Kukoc had his third career triple-double with 20 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds as the Hawks won consecutive home games for the first time since Jan. 11-13. Reserve Alan Henderson had 23 points and 11 rebounds for Atlanta.
Mike Bibby led Vancouver with 27 points. Shareef Abdur-Rahim added 21 points and 13 rebounds as the Grizzlies lost for the ninth time in 11 games.
LAKERS 112, CELTICS 107: In Los Angeles, Derek Fisher had career highs of 26 points and six steals along with eight assists in his first game of the season as the Lakers snapped a two-game losing streak.
Fisher, sidelined since undergoing surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot Sept. 20, scored 12 points in the final period, capped by a pair of game-clinching free throws with 10.9 seconds left.
Shaquille O'Neal had 28 points and 11 rebounds, and Rick Fox had 21 points for the Lakers, who won for the ninth time in 12 games. Kobe Bryant missed his second straight game because of a viral infection.
Paul Pierce matched his career high with 42 points and Antoine Walker added 23 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists for the Celtics, who lost their sixth straight road game and ninth in 12 games overall.
SUPERSONICS 99, TRAIL BLAZERS 90: Gary Payton scored 31 points as Seattle dealt visiting Portland its fourth straight loss.
Rasheed Wallace scored 19 points and Rashard Lewis 16 for Portland, which has lost six of its last 10.
ROCKETS 127, PACERS 118 (3OT): Moochie Norris scored 11 of his career-high 28 points in the third overtime, and Maurice Taylor and Cuttino Mobley each added 27 for Houston.
Steve Francis had 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his second triple-double of the season and third of his career.
It was the first triple OT game for the Rockets, who earlier in the day learned Hakeem Olajuwon would likely be lost for the season because of a blood condition.
Jalen Rose scored 39 points, Jermaine O'Neal 28 and Al Harrington a career-high 22 for the Pacers, who lost for the seventh time in nine games.