By Chris Bubeck
Dwyane Wade finishes the dish from Shaq:
Video: NBA TV Top 10

Birthday boy Richard Hamilton and the Pistons got back on track.
D.Lippitt/Einstein/NBAE/Getty Images
NBA Photo Exhibit: Feb. 14, 2006

Keith Bogans, Rockets
128-97 win at Clippers
18 pts, 6-9 FG,
4-5 3-pt FG, 2-2 FT

Dwyane Wade, Heat
107-93 win vs. Magic
38 pts, 13-20 FG, 12-14 FT

Rashard Lewis, Sonics
106-91 loss at Bucks
25 pts, 8-13 FG, 3-6 3-pt FG, 6-8 FT

Andres Nocioni, Bulls
105-101 loss vs. Kings
1-10 FG, 2 pts

Nick Collison, Sonics
106-91 loss at Bucks
2-9 FG, 4 pts

Kevin Martin, Kings
105-101 win at Bulls
3-11 FG, 14 pts

All-Stars Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming get most of the credit for the Rockets turning their season around as of late, but Rafer Alston has been a big reason as well. The point guard sparkled in Tuesday's 128-97 win over the Clippers as he tallied 17 points, 13 assists, three rebounds and tied a career-high with five steals in Houston's seventh victory in its last eight games.

"Joe Smith had 18 points in 19 minutes on Tuesday and that's good news for the Bucks, but bad news for the fantasy owners of Andrew Bogut. Bogut's minutes have been in the 20s for four straight games, and with Joe's minutes climbing, that trend is likely to continue."

Ezra Williams poured in a team-high 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting Tuesday and his Austin Toros needed all of them in a 121-117 win over Roanoke.
The Kings entered Tuesday with a 67-66 edge over the Bulls in the all-time series and the game reflected the slim margin. Sacramento trailed by five with just over two minutes to play in regulation before forcing overtime with a 5-0 run behind a three-point play from Brad Miller and a spinning lefthanded layup from former Bull Ron Artest. The Kings kept rolling at the start of the extra period with five straight points and held on for a 105-101 win. Artest led the way with 27 points, a career-high 14 rebounds and three steals as Sacramento won its first road game since acquiring him. Miller, who also played with Chicago, turned in a solid game as well with 13 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. "I enjoy my new role," said Artest, who was acquired in a trade with Indiana on Jan. 25. "Of course, playing off Mike Bibby and those guys, I enjoy the coach trying to put the ball into my hands and trying to make something positive happen out there."

"I'll be ready for the next game (Wednesday at Indiana). I could have come back and finished the game, but the way it was going, it just made sense to shut it down."

-- Milwaukee's T.J. Ford, who is listed as day-to-day after leaving a 106-91 win over Seattle in the third quarter with a mid-back contusion. He did not return. Ford missed the entire 2004-05 season due to a spinal cord bruise.

1. Finishing Strong
Even though the Pistons entered Tuesday with an 11.5-game lead in the Central Division, one could argue they were desperate for a victory. Detroit had lost three of its prevoius five games and didn't want to enter the All-Star break on a down note after a brilliant start to the season. The Pistons righted the ship on Tuesday behind 37 points combined from Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton in an 85-71 win over the Atlantic Division-leading Nets. Detroit will take a league-best 42-9 mark into the break. "I told the team that it is always a good sign when you get to the break with single-digit losses," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said.

2. Getting on Track
Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade will be playing in this weekend's All-Star game and Heat fans have to be happy. The dynamic duo is starting to heat up and fans probably don't want them sitting around getting rusty. O'Neal and Wade combined for 68 points in Sunday's win over the Pistons and were at it again on Tuesday. Wade followed up Sunday's 37-point performance with 38 in a 107-93 win over the Magic and O'Neal tallied 25 points, 11 boards, three assists and four blocked shots against the team that drafted him. Miami faces Orlando again Wednesday before heading into the hiatus. "When you have a big win on national television, especially a win that you need, you don't want a letdown," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "The offensive efficiency of Dwyane and Shaquille carried over from Sunday's game."

3. Trading Places
The Clippers (30-20) and Sonics (20-32) are two teams headed in different directions, but they reached some common ground on Tuesday afternoon. The teams exchanged 6-foot-10 forwards with plenty of potential as Seattle sent Vladimir Radmanovic to Los Angeles for Chris Wilcox. Wilcox, the No. 8 pick in the 2002 draft was averaging 4.5 points a game. Radmanovic, a 3-point threat and free-agent-to-be, is averaging just over nine points a game. Both teams were in action Tuesday, but neither player participated. The Sonics fell to the Bucks and L.A. lost to Houston.

Andrew Bogut continues to post solid numbers for the Bucks despite limited minutes. The No. 1 pick in last year's draft started Tuesday and contributed 10 points and five rebounds on 4-of-6 shooting from the floor in just 24 minutes. The effort wasn't wasted as Milwaukee pulled out a 106-91 win over Seattle.

Joe Smith is just six games into his return from knee surgery in early December, but he is starting to show some flashes of the player that was taken No. 1 overall out of the University of Maryland in 1995. The 6-foot-10 Smith netted 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor in just 19 minutes for Milwaukee in a 106-91 win over the Sonics. He added four boards and two steals.