Originally created 04/08/00

Carter-led Raptors overwhelm Hawks



ATLANTA -- Vince Carter scored 23 points and Tracy McGrady had 21 as the Toronto Raptors ended a four-game losing streak with a 104-84 victory over the Atlanta Hawks Friday night.

The Raptors, who had lost of eight of their previous nine, now need any combination of three wins or three Milwaukee losses to secure the first playoff appearance in the franchise's five-year history.

They moved within a game of Charlotte, a 97-82 loser to Detroit, for fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Carter, who had a game-high nine assists, lit up a sold-out Philips Arena with three spectacular dunks, but only one counted -- a jam midway through the first quarter. The feed from McGrady hit the backboard before Carter slammed it through.

McGrady, who scored a career-high 28 in Tuesday's home loss to Detroit, soared to his left for a hard dunk that put Toronto up 78-64 with 1:12 left in the third quarter.

The Raptors took their biggest lead at 102-79 on Dell Curry's 3-pointer with 1:42 remaining.

Alan Henderson's 24 points led the Hawks, who lost their fifth straight. Atlanta has dropped 23 of its last 27 games.

The Hawks, who had 15 rebounds and 11 points from Dikembe Mutombo, led by six midway through the second quarter on a 12-foot jumper by Cal Bowdler and were up by two at halftime.

Charles Oakley's 19-foot jumper put the Raptors up 59-58 with 7:19 to go in the third quarter, and they led the rest of the way.

76ERS 102, CELTICS 97:

In Boston, Matt Geiger came off the bench to score 20 points as Philadelphia beat Boston, extending the Celtics' losing streak to 10 games.

The streak is the team's longest in three seasons under coach Rick Pitino and three shy of the team record.

The 76ers, getting 16 points from Allen Iverson, broke a three-game road losing streak and stayed in fourth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Kenny Anderson led Boston with 28 points while Paul Pierce scored 18 and Antoine Walker 16.

Philadelphia went on an 8-0 run in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter to take its first lead since midway through the first quarter.

Iverson made the first of two free throws with 2:38 remaining to give the 76ers a 100-91 lead -- their largest of the game.

The 76ers held the Celtics to four points in the last four minutes of the third quarter as they went on a 9-4 run to cut their deficit to 80-78. Geiger scored the final four points on a dunk and a jump shot.

The Celtics opened a 34-23 lead after one quarter behind 10 points from Anderson, but Geiger came off the bench to score 10 points for the 76ers to cut the Celtics' lead to 60-55 at halftime.