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Shaq attack keeps Thunder rock bottom
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Shaquille O'Neal had 28 points and 12 rebounds, moving into ninth place on the NBA's career scoring list, and the Phoenix Suns overcame the loss of two-time MVP Steve Nash to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 110-102 on Monday.

Nash played only 9 minutes before leaving with back spasms and Amare Stoudemire was hounded by foul trouble, but the Suns still had plenty of firepower to overwhelm the NBA-worst Thunder.

Jason Richardson scored 20 points and reserve Matt Barnes had 19 for Phoenix, which snapped a four-game road losing streak

Rookie Russell Westbrook scored a career-high 31 and Jeff Green 22 to lead Oklahoma City.

Pistons 88, Magic 82

At Auburn Hills, Michigan, Rodney Stuckey led a balanced attack with 19 points and Detroit beat Orlando for their fourth straight win.

The Magic had won seven straight and were playing a Detroit team that was missing Richard Hamilton (groin), but they trailed for nearly the entire game.

Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace each scored 16 points and Allen Iverson had 15 to lead five Pistons in double figures.

Rashard Lewis led the Magic with 23 points while Dwight Howard added 18 points and 18 rebounds.

Hawks 109, Nuggets 91

At Atlanta, Joe Johnson scored 25 points and Atlanta beat Denver to close out an important homestand with a long-awaited milestone.

Atlanta completed an eight-game homestand, its longest of the season, with a 7-1 record, including five straight wins. Its only loss was to Boston.

The Hawks (20-10) reached 20 wins before New Year's Day for the first time since the 1987-88 season. Atlanta headed to Indiana yesterday for its final game of 2008.

Seven teams won 20 games this season before the Hawks. Even relatively modest accomplishments are noteworthy in Atlanta, which won only 13 games in the 2004-05 season and made the playoffs last season for the first time since 1999.

Bulls 100, Nets 87

At East Rutherford, New Jersey, rookie Derrick Rose had 21 points and a season-high 13 assists, Ben Gordon scored 24 points, and Chicago beat New Jersey.

The Nets continued their poor play at home, falling to 5-12, the second-worst mark in the Eastern Conference. The Nets (15-16) are 10-4 on the road.

Andres Nocioni and Larry Hughes each added 17 points for the Bulls, who won for only the fourth time in 18 road games this season. It was Chicago's first win in New Jersey since 2001, snapping a 13-game losing streak.

Timberwolves 108, Grizzlies 98, OT

At Minneapolis, Al Jefferson scored a season-high 38 points, including nine in overtime, and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead Minnesota over Memphis.

Jefferson scored the Timberwolves' first seven points in overtime, helping them overcome the efforts of rookie scoring leader O.J. Mayo - who was picked and traded by Minnesota on draft night.

Mayo had 23 points and Kyle Lowry finished with a career-high 12 assists, but Memphis lost its second consecutive overtime game and sixth in its last seven overall.

Wizards 89, Rockets 87

At Houston, Antawn Jamison scored a season-high 30 points, Andray Blatche added 16 points and eight rebounds as Washington snapped a five-game road losing streak with a win over listless Houston.

Jamison also grabbed 12 rebounds and Nick Young added 14 points as the Wizards snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Rockets and won in Houston for the first time since 2001.

(Agencies via China Daily December 31, 2008)

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