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Spurs claim NBA's top spot

ATLANTA — If Derek Anderson violates his own rule and takes a peek at the newspaper, he won't see the Philadelphia 76ers atop the NBA standings anymore.

Instead, it is his team — the San Antonio Spurs — that has the league's best record.

Anderson scored 23 points, thanks mostly to a 5-for-6 effort on 3-point attempts, as San Antonio coasted to a 115-101 victory over the Atlanta Hawks Thursday.

Anderson's productivity in the Spurs' last three victories — 25.7 points while shooting 12-for-19 on 3s — has helped San Antonio take a half-game lead on Philadelphia in the race for the NBA's best record.

"We played 48 minutes of basketball," Anderson said. "We never look at the standings. We lost to Chicago and we learned our lesson. We take everybody seriously, and this is the time to get better."

Center David Robinson finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocked shots as the Spurs won for the 12th time in 13 games. San Antonio, with a league-high 26-5 record since Jan. 23, improved to 49-20.

Philadelphia, which plays Friday night at Phoenix, is 48-20.

Terry Porter, who finished with 14 points and eight assists, hit all three of his 3-point attempts in the third quarter. Tim Duncan, who scored 18 points, pulled down 10 rebounds for his NBA-leading 57th double-double, and reserve guards Avery Johnson and Antonio Daniels combined for 20 points, six assists and six rebounds.

It didn't take Atlanta long to lose the momentum gained from a 108-106 upset of the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night. The Hawks never led after the 8:10 mark of the first quarter.

Jason Terry had 32 points for Atlanta, which lost for the 13th time in 16 games.

KINGS 103, PISTONS 98: At Sacramento, Chris Webber had 29 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists as the Kings held off Detroit in the fourth quarter.

The win, Sacramento's eighth in 10 games, moved the first-place Kings 1 1/2 games ahead of the idle Los Angeles Lakers in the Pacific Division. The Lakers visit Sacramento on Sunday afternoon.

Leading by three points late in the low-scoring fourth quarter, Webber banked in a shot and Bobby Jackson made a short baseline jumper, extending the lead to 99-92 with 1:43 remaining.

SUNS 91, SUPERSONICS 88: Jason Kidd scored 20 points, including two crucial 3-pointers in the fourth quarter in Phoenix's win at Seattle.

The Sonics trailed 91-88 after the Suns' Tony Delk missed one of two free throws with less than 10 seconds left, but Vin Baker's 3-point attempt missed long at the buzzer.

Shawn Marion added 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Suns after missing most of the third quarter with an apparent wrist injury.

Baker finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds for Seattle. He shot just 3-for-14 from the field, but was 13-of-13 from the free-throw line.

CELTICS 113, NETS 98: Paul Pierce scored a career-high 44 points and Boston hit a season-high 14 3-pointers at New Jersey.

Antoine Walker added 29 points as the Celtics (30-38) won their third straight road game and moved within a half-game of idle Indiana (30-37) in the race for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.

New Jersey's Kenyon Martin, the No. 1 pick in last year's NBA draft, broke his right fibula in the third quarter after being kneed in the back of the leg by Milt Palacio.

CAVALIERS 109, GRIZZLIES 95: At Cleveland, Wesley Person and Lamond Murray each scored 19 points in a game that featured a scuffle between Mike Bibby and Bimbo Coles.

Andre Miller had 15 points and 16 assists and Clarence Weatherspoon added 13 points and 13 rebounds as Cleveland bounced back from an embarrassing 35-point loss to New York on Tuesday night.

CLIPPERS 97, ROCKETS 92: At Los Angeles, Jeff McInnis scored 23 points and Lamar Odom had his fifth career triple-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

Michael Olowokandi had 20 points and eight rebounds for the Clippers, whose 25th victory marked the fifth time in the franchise's 31-year history that they've won at least 10 more games than they did the previous season.