EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Richard Jefferson converted a three-point play with 1.5 seconds remaining to lift the New Jersey Nets over the Chicago Bulls 100-99 Saturday night.

Jefferson’s basket came after Chicago’s Ben Gordon missed the second of two free throws with seven seconds left. Jefferson drove the lane at the other end and scored while being knocked down by Tyson Chandler, then sank the free throw.

Jefferson and Vince Carter each finished with 28 points to lead the Nets, who blew a seven-point lead in the final 2:49. Chicago’s Kirk Hinrich, who finished with 26 points for the Bulls, scored on back-to-back drives in the final minute to give Chicago a 96-93 lead with 28 seconds left.

Jefferson tapped in a rebound to pull New Jersey within one point, and two free throws by Chicago’s Chris Duhon with 18 seconds left pushed the lead back to 98-95.

Carter scored on a rebound with 10 seconds left and Gordon was fouled bringing the ball upcourt and given two foul shots.

After Jefferson’s three-point play, Chicago’s Andres Nocioni was unable to get a shot off at the buzzer.

Gordon finished with 23 points off the bench. The Bulls needed his production on a night when their starters combined for 26 points through the first three quarters while the bench scored 40.

Nenad Krstic scored 17 points for New Jersey and Carter added 12 rebounds. The Nets outrebounded Chicago 51-37.

Little separated the two teams in the first half, on the stat sheet or on the scoreboard. Both shot just under 40 percent from the field and 33 percent from 3-point range, though the Nets held a 28-18 edge in rebounds.

Chicago had a 16-3 run that started in the first quarter and ended in the second, and took its biggest lead at 30-20 on a jump shot by Luol Deng with 10:17 left. The Nets rallied and Carter, whose 14 first-half shots were twice as many as any of his teammates, sank a jumper to tie it at 44 with 1:10 left.

Jefferson scored eight points in the third quarter as New Jersey took a 74-66 lead, and his basket to open the fourth quarter gave the Nets their biggest lead of the final 12 minutes.

Wizards 87, Magic 79

WASHINGTON – Gilbert Arenas and the Washington Wizards brought their hot start home Saturday night, with Arenas scoring 30 points and Antawn Jamison adding 17 of his 23 in the second half in an 87-79 victory over the Orlando Magic.

Arenas and Jamison scored all the points in a 12-0 run late in the third quarter that put the Wizards ahead for good, and Washington held on in a sloppy but close fourth quarter in which both teams shot poorly from the field and missed opportunities to take control.

The Wizards, playing their home opener after their first playoff appearance in eight years, improved to 3-0 for the first time since the 1978-79 season, which was also the last time they played in the NBA Finals. The Magic, yet to find their shooting touch in the young season, shot 31 percent are 0-3 for the first time since starting 0-6 in 1990-91.

Jamison also grabbed 13 rebounds, including two big ones in the final minute. The Wizards would have won with some ease if they hadn’t missed 13 of 37 free throws. They entered the game in the bottom five in the league in free-throw percentage.

Dwight Howard had 17 points and 11 rebounds, Steve Francis scored 16 points, and Hedo Turkoglu had 15 for the Magic. DeShawn Stevenson had 13, but Orlando shot 10-for-41 from the field in the second half, including 4-for-20 in the fourth quarter.

Francis made it close when he hit a 3-pointer with 2:02 remaining to pull the Magic to 81-79, but Orlando didn’t score again. Francis missed two free throws with 56 seconds left, and the Wizards closed out the victory by going 4-for-6 from the line in the final minute.

The talents of Arenas and Howard kept the game watchable in an often ragged evening. Howard made an acrobatic move to grab an offensive rebound on the right side of the basket and rose on the left side for powerful one-handed dunk in the first quarter. Arenas was a blur as he threw down a one-hander in the second quarter.

Wizards 87, Magic 79

WASHINGTON – Gilbert Arenas and the Washington Wizards brought their hot start home Saturday night, with Arenas scoring 30 points and Antawn Jamison adding 17 of his 23 in the second half in an 87-79 victory over the Orlando Magic.

Arenas and Jamison scored 10 points in a 12-0 run late in the third quarter that put the Wizards ahead for good, and Washington held on in a sloppy but close fourth quarter in which both teams shot poorly from the field and missed opportunities to take control.

The Wizards, playing their home opener after their first playoff appearance in eight years, improved to 3-0 for the first time since the 1978-79 season, which was also the last time they played in the NBA Finals. The Magic, yet to find their shooting touch in the young season, shot 31 percent are 0-3 for the first time since starting 0-6 in 1990-91.

Jamison also grabbed 13 rebounds, including two big ones in the final minute. The Wizards would have won with some ease if they hadn’t missed 13 of 37 free throws. They entered the game in the bottom five in the league in free-throw percentage.

Dwight Howard had 17 points and 11 rebounds, Steve Francis scored 16 points, and Hedo Turkoglu had 15 for the Magic. DeShawn Stevenson had 13, but Orlando shot 10-for-41 from the field in the second half, including 4-for-20 in the fourth quarter.

Francis made it close when he hit a 3-pointer with 2:02 remaining to pull the Magic to 81-79, but Orlando didn’t score again. Francis missed two free throws with 56 seconds left, and the Wizards closed out the victory by going 4-for-6 from the line in the final minute.

The talents of Arenas and Howard kept the game watchable in an often ragged evening. Howard made an acrobatic move to grab an offensive rebound on the right side of the basket and rose on the left side for powerful one-handed dunk in the first quarter. Arenas was a blur as he threw down a one-hander in the second quarter.

But both teams had lulls. The Wizards went more than five minutes without a field goal after Arenas’ highlight dunk, but the best the Magic could do during that span was take a seven-point lead. The Wizards fumbled the ball clumsily during their last possession of the half, but Arenas was finally able to control it and toss in a 3-pointer with half-a-second left to cut Orlando’s lead to 42-40 at the break.

Pistons 117, Raptors 84

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Tayshaun Prince scored 27 points and Ben Wallace added 15 points and 13 rebounds as the Detroit Pistons remained unbeaten with a 117-84 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night.

The Pistons (3-0) outrebounded the winless Raptors 57-35, including a 16-3 edge on the offensive glass.

Prince was 10-for-17 from the floor and made three 3-pointers in 34 minutes.

Richard Hamilton added 18 points and Maurice Evans had 13 for Detroit. Hamilton was 8-for-15 from the floor and is shooting 60 percent for the season.

Michigan natives Jalen Rose (25 points) and Morris Peterson (17) led the Raptors (0-3) in scoring, while ex-Piston Mike James and Chris Bosh each had 12.

Detroit dominated the first half, taking a 58-40 lead into intermission. Prince had 15 in the half, mostly against Joey Graham and Matt Bonner. Toronto outshot Detroit 49 percent to 48 percent in the half, but had 18 fouls and nine turnovers, compared to the Pistons’ eight and three.

The Pistons then put away the game with a 14-2 run early in the third, giving them a 72-45 lead. Prince had nine points in the surge.

Detroit led 89-62 at quarter’s end, thanks to a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Prince.

Grizzlies 113, Cavs 106

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Pau Gasol scored 29 points and had seven rebounds to lead the Memphis Grizzlies over the Cleveland Cavaliers 113-106 on Saturday night.

Gasol made 11 of 15 shots from the field for Memphis, which won its second straight game. Eddie Jones added 19 points and Mike Miller finished with 13.

LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 36 points and six assists. Larry Hughes finished with 21, while Drew Gooden and Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 14 each. Ilgauskas grabbed 11 rebounds, while Gooden had 10 boards.

Memphis held a slim 82-81 lead entering the final period, but 3-pointers by Miller and Bobby Jackson were part of a 13-2 run to open the quarter and give Memphis its biggest lead at 95-83 on a Dahntay Jones dunk with just under nine minutes left.


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