By Dave McMenamin
It was Dwyane's World down the stretch:
Video: NBA TV Top 10

Flash flicked in the game winner to down Detroit on Sunday.
Victor Baldizon/NBAE/Getty Images
NBA Photo Exhibit: Feb. 12, 2006

Dwyane Wade, Heat
100-98 win vs. Pistons
37 pts, 15-27 FG

Manu Ginobili, Spurs
92-88 win at Pacers
29 pts, 7-12 FG,
4-6 3-pt FG, 11-12 FT

Ray Allen, Sonics
120-112 OT loss vs. Nuggets
34 pts, 10-20 FG, 8-12 3-pt FG

Tracy McGrady, Rockets
90-83 win vs. Knicks
3-20 FG, 0-4 3-pt FG, 7 pts

Al Harrington, Hawks
109-84 loss at Kings
3-11 FG, 9 pts

S. Telfair & J. Jack, Blazers
114-88 loss at Raptors
4-16 FG, 1-5 3-pt FG, 15 pts

Allen Iverson is known for his scoring knack, but he did much more than shoot in the Sixers' 107-97 loss in Washington. A.I. had seven assists, five steals and five rebounds against the Wizards. And you know he got his points - the fiesty vet scored 33 to lead all scorers on 13-of-27 shooting.

"The trade rumors are really getting to Steve Francis, who failed to reach double digits for the fourth straight game on Sunday. But, with a trade no longer likely, Francis should get his groove back once the deadline passes."

Chicago had lost five out of six games heading into a matchup in L.A. with the Clippers who had won 10 out of 12. On paper, it seemed unlikely the Bulls would win. On paper it would also seem unlikely that Chicago's Jannero Pargo, averaging 5.4 points per game, would lead the team in scoring. Well, he did, and the Bulls won 97-91 at the STAPLES Center. Pargo poured in 17 points on 8-of-15 shooting and added five assists and two steals.
Shaquille O'Neal may have started the game leading the Heat against Detroit, but Dwyane Wade certainly finished it. O'Neal scored 21 of his season-high 31 points in the first half while Wade flashed his brilliance in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter. Chauncey Billups (29 points), Richard Hamilton (25) and Rasheed Wallace (21) and the Pistons were up to their usual business, holding a 90-83 lead with 4:47 remaining after Rip found Sheed for a jumper. From that point on, Wade took over and scored Miami's last 17 points, including a tough jumper contested by Tayshaun Prince with 2.3 seconds left to put Miami up two. On the game's last possession Prince got an open look from three but hit back iron and Miami won, 100-98. The Heat, who were 0-7 on the season against the league's best teams (Detroit, Dallas, Phoenix and San Antonio) proved they could beat an upper echelon team. Oh, and about Wade? "The last time I saw something like that, MJ (Michael Jordan) was playing," was how Alonzo Mourning put it.

"Ginobili was no more impressive than he's been in any other game. He's hell-bent for leather and that's the way he always plays. He's the ultimate warrior."

-- Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on the play of Manu Ginobili who scored 29 in San Antonio's 92-88 win in Indiana. For those of you born after 1962, "hell-bent for leather" is a tough, old guy's way of saying "to travel hard and fast in a seemingly purposeless direction."

1. Niner Niner
The Spurs pushed their season-best winning streak to nine games with a come-from-behind 92-88 win in Indiana on Sunday. San Antonio trailed by seven with three minutes to go before Manu Ginobili exploded for 13 of his 29 points to close out the game. The win puts the defending champs at 40-10 on the season, one game ahead of Dallas in the Southwest Division. The Spurs now have the best record in the West and are only behind the Pistons (41-9) for tops in the league. While San Antonio has been surging, Detroit is "slumping" as it has lost 4-of-8. "Defensively, we've been really solid," said Tim Duncan who has battled the flu throughout the streak. "It's been a tough couple of weeks for me and we've found ways to still get it done. Manu, Tony, Bruce ... they've all been awesome." On the other end of nine-game streak sits the New York Knicks, who dropped their ninth straight with a 90-83 loss in Houston.

2. Hill Be Back
The Magic's oft-injured Grant Hill returned to the court on Sunday after missing the last 13 games with a sports hernia. Hill played 20 minutes but paid immediate dividends, scoring 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting in Orlando's 102-94 road loss to Boston. "I felt fine the whole game," said Hill. "It's just rust and time. I hit some shots, but a couple of times I lost the ball, just little, subtle things. But it was a good day. I wish we could have won (because) that is the most important thing." The Magic have dropped eight of nine, but the more Hill sees the floor, the more his career averages of 20 points, seven rebounds and six assists will help Orlando in the win column.

3. "Snow"down in Jersey
With New Jersey being buried in 27 inches of snow on Sunday, Vince Carter and Jason Kidd gave Nets fans something to feel warm and fuzzy about. Carter scored 24 points and Jason Kidd played floor general with 16, five assists, five rebounds and four steals in a 94-79 win over Milwaukee. The attendance at Continental Airlines Arena was announced at 12,256 but, due to the inclement weather, was estimated at far less. Even the referees were short-handed as the snow storm kept the third member of the three-man crew from getting to the game. "It was a weird game," Carter said. "It was really slow. Not a lot of energy. It was the crowd, it was the weather."

Shooting crucial free throws on the road in a tight game in a packed arena is not an enviable task. Those who are successful at it can box out all of the distractions and relax on the line. Guess its easy to do for a guy nicknamed Melo. Carmelo Anthony hit two foul shots with 1:13 to go to give the Nuggets a one-point lead in Seattle. The game continued on to overtime where Melo continued his spledid stroke from the charity stripe, as he hit 6-of-6 in OT. Anthony added a dunk with 3:01 remaining in the extra session to give Denver the lead for good and the Nuggets shushed the Sonic faithful, winning 120-114. Melo finished with 33 points and nine boards.

Maybe all Ryan Gomes needed was a chance to play. The Boston forward out of Providence played just 16 minutes in all of the month of January but that's beginning to change. With Al Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins out with injuries, Gomes stepped in to play 35 minutes and grabbed a season-high nine rebounds on Friday in a win vs. Portland and 44 minutes in the Celtics' 102-94 victory over Orlando on Sunday. Gomes scored a season-high 14 points, grabbed nine boards again and set a season-high with two steals.