The Orlando Magic kept their slim playoff hopes alive Thursday with a 92-80 upset victory over the San Antonio Spurs in limited National Basketball League action.
Dwight Howard scored 22 points and teammate Jameer Nelson added 19 to lead the Magic to its seventh consecutive win. Orlando is now two-and-a-half games behind the Chicago Bulls and Philadelphia 76ers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Tim Duncan scored 31 points for San Antonio, who maintain a one-and-a-half game lead over the Dallas Mavericks for the best record in the Western Conference. Dallas failed to gain any ground on the Spurs, as they fell to the Phoenix Suns 117-104. Five Phoenix players scored in double figures, led by Shawn Marion's 29-point effort.
The playoff bound Cleveland Cavaliers routed the New York Knicks 91-87. Larry Hughes scored 26 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for Cleveland, who played without injured superstar LeBron James. James suffered a sprained ankle in Wednesday's game against the Detroit Pistons.
New York head coach Larry Brown left the bench in the third quarter after complaining of illness. He was taken to a hospital for tests. Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.