Tue, 28 Jan 2003

Carter's returns helps Raptors canquer Kings

Reuters, Toronto, Canada

Vince Carter scored 22 points in his return from missing 23 games with a knee injury to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 101-97 win over the Sacramento Kings in NBA action on Sunday afternoon.

Playing his first game since Dec. 8, Carter scored Toronto's last six points as the Raptors ended a five-game losing streak by beating the NBA's second best team on Carter's 26th birthday.

After a tentative start, Carter wound up 8-for-16 from the field while playing 23 minutes.

Morris Peterson added 17 points for the Raptors, who won for just the sixth time at home this season while improving to 11-33 overall.

Jerome Williams added 12 points and 14 rebounds.

Chris Webber had a triple-double for Sacramento -- 24 points, 19 rebounds and 10 assists -- but that wasn't enough to stop the Kings from losing their second straight game and falling to 32- 13.

Mike Bibby scored 30 points for Sacramento, while former Raptor Keon Clark had 11 points.

In Boston, Paul Pierce had the first triple-double of his career -- 27 points, 13 rebounds and a career-high 13 assists -- to lead the Celtics past the Orlando Magic 91-83.

Tony Battie added 12 points for Boston, which has won six of seven.

Walter McCarty added 11 points as the Celtics won without Antoine Walker, who missed his third game with a knee injury.

Jeryl Sasser started in place of Tracy McGrady, who missed the game to be with his fiance, who gave birth Saturday night.

Sasser had 26 points, 10 rebounds and four steals. Darrell Armstrong added 12 points for Orlando.

In Indianapolis, Jermaine O'Neal had 21 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocked shots as the Indiana Pacers edged the Los Angeles Clippers 108-101.

Ron Artest and Al Harrington added 17 points each for the Pacers, who won their 14th straight game at home and third straight overall.

Brad Miller added 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Elton Brand had his first career triple-double for the Clippers, with 17 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists.

Corey Maggette added 25 points for the Clippers, while Lamar Odom had 14 points.

In Chicago, Marcus Fizer hit the game-winning basket with four-tenths of a second left, giving the Bulls a 100-98 win over the slumping Houston Rockets.

Jalen Rose scored 29 points for the Bulls, including 11 in the fourth quarter, as the Bulls improved to 17-27 with their second straight win.

In New York, Kurt Thomas scored 28 points and hauled down a season-high 17 rebounds as the Knicks beat the Phoenix Suns 106- 98.

In Dallas, Scottie Pippen had 19 points to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to their fourth straight win -- all on the road -- a 100-93 win over the NBA's leading team, the Dallas Mavericks.