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NBA: Philadelphia Beats Cleveland

Philadelphia 76ers Allen Iverson voices his displeasure over a call by a referee
Philadelphia beat Cleveland 103-98 Friday to put the 76ers and Cavaliers in a tie for seventh place in the National Basketball Association Eastern Conference playoff race.

NBA leading scorer Allen Iverson had 23 points and career-high 16 assists to lead the Sixers at home. The victory also knocked New York out of playoff contention, as the Knicks lost 102-94 to the Chicago Bulls.

The top eight teams in the two conferences advance to the post season.

In the Western Conference, the fifth-place Sacramento Kings clinched a playoff spot for the seventh straight year by defeating the host Portland Trail Blazers 119-115. Sacramento's Peja Stojakovic netted 35 points, including six shots from three-point range.

Memphis beat the Miami Heat 97-81 to improve post-season chances as the Grizzlies held on to eighth place in the West, ahead of ninth place Minnesota. The struggling Timberwolves saw their playoff hopes dwindle after losing 107-104 to the Denver Nuggets.

The lowly Golden State Warriors overcame 44 points and 16 rebounds by the Suns' Amare Stoudemire to surprise Western conference-leading Phoenix 127-119.

Other NBA winners Friday were the Pistons, Raptors, Pacers, Jazz, Bucks and Lakers.

The defending champion Detroit Pistons beat the Orlando Magic 114-102, the Toronto Raptors needed overtime to get by the Atlanta Hawks 109-101, and the Indiana Pacers knocked off the Washington Wizards 93-83. Also, the Utah Jazz defeated the New Orleans Hornets 98-87, the Milwaukee Bucks routed the Charlotte Bobcats 93-75 and the Los Angeles Lakers used 42 points from Kobe Bryant to trounce the Seattle SuperSonics 117-94.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.