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Sprewell explodes against Knicks

Latrell Sprewell made a lot of noise in his return to Madison Square Garden, cursing at the Knicks' owner, screaming at their bench, and yelling in triumph after scoring 31 points to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 98-92 victory over the Knicks, the team that traded him to Minnesota last summer.


It was exactly the kind of return Sprewell wanted, with the fans chanting his name before tipoff and him saving his best for the fourth quarter -- just as he often did with the Knicks.

Sprewell saved his biggest outburst for the end, too, turning to Knicks chairman James Dolan and unleashing a stream of curses after his 3-pointer gave Minnesota a 94-89 lead with 1:14 left.

Referee Dan Crawford came over and warned Sprewell to knock if off during the ensuing timeout, but Sprewell kept it up anyway and directed his next rant at the Knicks' bench.

The tirade earned him a technical that allowed New York to pull to 95-92 with 30.4 seconds left, but Sam Cassell wrapped up the victory on a 3-pointer with 11.3 seconds remaining.

Cassell shot 14 for 19 and also scored 31, while Kevin Garnett had 22 points and 13 rebounds.

Warriors 107, Lakers 98 -- Clifford Robinson scored a season-high 24 points, and Erick Dampier had 17 points and 11 rebounds while outmuscling Shaquille O'Neal as Golden State overpowered the Lakers in Oakland. Speedy Claxton had 19 points for the Warriors, who built a 21-point lead in the third quarter. Los Angeles got within 8 on Kobe Bryant's 3-pointer with 1:48 left, but Robinson made an off-balance jumper as the shot clock ran down to seal the Warriors' third home win over the Lakers in five games.

O'Neal had 21 points but just five rebounds for the Lakers, who have lost three of five following a 10-game winning streak.

Kings 114, Grizzlies 97 -- Peja Stojakovic scored a career-high 41 points, Brad Miller had his fifth straight double-double with 20 points and 17 rebounds, and Sacramento rallied from an early 17-point deficit to beat visiting Memphis.

Miller scored 17 of his points in the first half as the Kings (20-6) rebounded from the first-quarter deficit to pull within 54-52 at the half. Stojakovic added 15 of his points in the first 24 minutes for Sacramento, which has won four straight and 16 of its last 18 to pull even with the Lakers atop the Pacific Division and the overall NBA standings at 20-6.

Pau Gasol lead Memphis with 23 points while James Posey added 18.

Cavaliers 97, Hornets 86 -- Rookie LeBron James scored 22 points and Eric Williams scored 13 of his 16 in the fourth quarter when host Cleveland rallied for the victory over New Orleans -- their third straight win.

The Cavaliers have won three in a row for the first time since April 6-10, 2002 -- a span of 113 games.

James took over in the third quarter, scoring 11 points, and Williams carried Cleveland in the fourth when the Cavs stepped it up on the defensive end to turn things around and give coach Paul Silas a win over his former team.

Spurs 111, Clippers 90 -- Tim Duncan scored 22 points and Tony Parker had a career-high 14 assists to lead host San Antonio to its 11th straight win.

Parker added 19 points for the Spurs, who pulled away from the Clippers late in the first quarter and built a lead of 23 points in the third.

Los Angeles got within 96-82 with 5:18 remaining.

Nets 95, Bulls 78 -- Jason Kidd had 18 points and led a trio of highlight-film fast breaks as host New Jersey beat Chicago.

Heat 79, Wizards 72 -- Dwyane Wade scored 11 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to lead host Miami over Washington.

Pacers 79, Rockets 71 -- Jermaine O'Neal had 21 points and 14 rebounds for his 15th double-double of the season to lead visiting Indiana over Houston. Ron Artest added 21 points and Anthony Johnson 13 for the Pacers.

SuperSonics 116, Suns 90 -- Ray Allen rejoined Seattle after missing the first 25 games with an ankle injury and scored 24 points in a victory over Phoenix.

Bucks 83, Pistons 78 -- Joe Smith had 18 points, including a three-point play with 59 seconds left, and a season-high 17 rebounds in host Milwaukee's victory over Detroit.

Trail Blazers 97, Mavericks 88 -- Zach Randolph had 27 points and nine rebounds to lead Portland over visiting Dallas.

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