Wizards break road jinx

DeShawn Stevenson knows why the Washington Wizards won their first road game of the season.

"We passed the ball well and shot it well as a team," said Stevenson, who scored a season-best 21 points in the Wizards' 108-88 win over the New Jersey Nets last night. "We shared the ball as a team and got open looks. It felt good, because I've been in kind of a slump. I just figured I'd come in and shoot it. If I missed, who cares?"


Caron Butler had 22 points and 10 assists for Washington (3-12), which won for the second time under interim head coach Ed Tapscott and for the first overall against an Eastern Conference opponent after 11 straight losses.

The Wizards came in as the worst shooting team in the NBA at 44 percent but shot 52 percent overall, and 54 percent from three-point range.


After a closely contested first half that ended with Washington holding a 51-50 lead, the Wizards blew the game open in the third quarter, outscoring the Nets 35-12.

"In that quarter, we missed some easy shots and got sort of fragmented," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "We never got stops and then Stevenson got going. We kind of lost our rhythm offensively and didn't make it happen on the other end. It's disappointing that we got thoroughly outplayed."

The Nets (9-8) were led by Devin Harris, who had 18 points, but only three after halftime, and Vince Carter, who had 16 points. Keyon Dooling added 14 off the bench for the Nets.

"We were devoid of all energy," Frank said. "That's just the NBA schedule for you. With games like this, you have to dig deeper. We definitely played a whole lot different tonight than we did on the road trip."

Trail Blazers 104, Knicks 97: : Brandon Roy scored 23 points and visiting Portland (13-6) dominated the fourth quarter to beat New York (8-9) for its fifth straight victory.

76ers 103, Bulls 95, OT: : Andre Miller scored nine of his season-high 28 points in overtime and visiting Philadelphia (8-10) ended its four-game losing streak.

The Sixers avenged a loss to the Bulls (8-10) two days ago in Philadelphia.

Pacers 118, Lakers 117: : Danny Granger scored 32 points and led host Indiana (7-10) back from a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit, and Troy Murphy's buzzer-beating tip-in completed an improbable victory over Los Angeles (14-2), which had won seven straight.


Nuggets 132, Raptors 93: : Thanks to Chauncey Billups, Carmelo Anthony (Towson Catholic) doesn't have to shoulder Denver's offense while dealing with an ailing right elbow. Billups had 24 points and 14 assists for Denver (13-6) in a rout of visiting Toronto (8-9).

Anthony started slowly, finishing with 23 points 48 hours after scoring just one basket in 14 agonizing minutes against Houston, which ended his NBA-best double-digit streak at 222 games.

Mavericks 100, Clippers 98: : Jose Barea hit the go-ahead three-pointer in the final minute, Dirk Nowitzki scored 29 points and host Dallas (9-8) rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat Los Angeles (3-14), which led until Barea hit his long-range jumper with 50.2 seconds left.

Pistons 89, Spurs 77: : Rasheed Wallace made three three-pointers in the fourth quarter and scored 19 points as visiting Detroit (11-6) rallied from 10 points down. The Spurs (9-8) have dropped two straight after winning four in a row.

Off the court

Rockets: : Guard Tracy McGrady will miss three weeks to rehabilitate his sore left knee. McGrady sat out Houston's past three games after starting the first 15. He had arthroscopic surgery May 6 but said yesterday that doctors have told him the knee is not healed. "Obviously, I came back a little bit too early," said McGrady, who is averaging 15.6 points. "I'm just not ready."