EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Jason Kidd scored a season-high 25 points to pick up the slack for an ailing Vince Carter on Wednesday night, leading the New Jersey Nets to a 100-87 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Kidd added 11 assists and eight rebounds and scored 11 straight points for the Nets in a 21-3 first-quarter spurt that gave the Nets the lead for good.

Carter, who battled flu-like symptoms all day and was a game-time decision to start, finished with 15 points, none in the fourth quarter. Nenad Krstic added 22 points.

Hornets 100, Pistons 99

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Rookie Hilton Armstrong made a free throw with 3 seconds left, then got a key offensive rebound to help the New Orleans Hornets beat the Detroit Pistons 100-99 on Wednesday night. With the score tied at 99, Armstrong made the first of two free throws to put the Hornets ahead. He missed the second, but got his own rebound and batted it to midcourt as time expired.

Chris Paul had 20 points and 13 assists for New Orleans, while Armstrong, who had never scored an NBA point before Wednesday, finished with 17 and nine rebounds.

Magic 108, Nuggets 99

ORLANDO, Fla. – Keyon Dooling scored 25 points, keying a big third-quarter run to lift the Orlando Magic over the Denver Nuggets 108-99 on Wednesday night.

Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points, his fifth straight game with at least 30. But he committed two costly mistakes in the final 2:15, first traveling, then bobbling a pass that forced a jump ball tipped to Dooling for a lay-up and 104-97 lead with 1:03 left. The win snapped Denver’s three-game winning streak and extended Orlando’s to three games.

Hedu Turkoglu had 18 points and six rebounds for the Magic before fouling out, while Grant Hill added 15 points and Carlos Arroyo had 14 points, five assists and five rebounds.

J.R. Smith scored 17 points and Marcus Camby added 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Earl Boykins scored 11 for Denver.

Cavaliers 100, Blazers 87

CLEVELAND – LeBron James had 32 points, seven assists and seven rebounds to help the Cleveland Cavaliers win their fourth straight game with a 100-87 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.

The Cavaliers have started the season 6-2 for the second straight year and own the best record in the Eastern Conference.

They trailed only briefly in the second quarter and led by as many as 20 late in the third as they easily handled the injury riddled Trail Blazers, who looked tired after losing Tuesday night at Minnesota.

Knicks 102, Wizards 82

NEW YORK – Rookie Renaldo Balkman scored a season-high 18 points, and the New York Knicks used their best defensive performance of the season to beat the Washington Wizards 102-82 Wednesday night.

Quentin Richardson made five 3-pointers and added 17 points and Stephon Marbury scored 16 for the Knicks, who won for the first time this season at Madison Square Garden and snapped a three-game losing streak.

Kings 115, Grizzlies 111

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Mike Bibby had 32 points and 10 assists Wednesday night to lead the Sacramento Kings to their fourth straight victory, a 115-111 win over the struggling Memphis Grizzlies.

Kevin Martin added 24 points, including a few big baskets down the stretch, for Sacramento. Trailing 98-89, the Grizzlies scored 10 straight points to take a one-point lead. Martin answered with a 3-pointer putting the Kinds ahead for good with 4:49 left. He made another big 3-pointer with just over a minute left and sealed the victory with two free throws for a 111-106 lead.

with 15 seconds left.

Chucky Atkins scored 27 points to lead Memphis, which has lost five straight.


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