Troy Murphy's most important assist didn't show up in the box score.

Indiana's Murphy and Chicago's Tyrus Thomas were ejected from last night's game after an altercation. Indiana used it as motivation in a 117-102 win over the visiting Bulls.

"We thank Murph for that," Indiana forward Jermaine O'Neal said. "We appreciate Murph getting thrown out of the game, getting us going."

Kareem Rush scored 22 points to lead the Pacers in a wild game that featured five technical fouls, besides the two ejections.

Ben Gordon led Chicago with 18 points, but was only 7-for-21 from the field.

The Bulls were leading, 41-36, with 3 minutes, 51 seconds left in the second quarter when Chicago forward Thomas took exception to a hard foul by Murphy and responded by shoving him in the face. Murphy swung back, and players from both teams intervened before things escalated.

In other games:

* At Denver, Carmelo Anthony had 32 points, including a three-point play with 38.4 seconds left, to lift the Nuggets to a 105-99 win over the New Orleans Hornets.

Chris Paul had 30 points and 12 assists for New Orleans.

* At Toronto, Chris Bosh scored 17 points and the Raptors beat Dallas for the first time in more than 4 years, 92-76. Jason Terry had 21 points for Dallas, which was held to a season low in points.

* At Charlotte, Raymond Felton scored 26 points and the Bobcats beat the Los Angeles Clippers, 108-103.

* At Houston, Tracy McGrady scored 29 points as the Rockets nearly entered the NBA record book for foul-shot futility before beating the Detroit Pistons, 80-77.

The Rockets missed 14 of their first 15 shots from the line, before finishing 6-for-22 (27 percent).

* At Boston, rookie Glen Davis made his first start and had 16 points and nine rebounds as the Celtics fefeated the Sacramento Kings, 90-78, to improve to 11-0 at home. Paul Pierce led Boston with 26 points.

* At New York, Kevin Durant scored 30 points, and fellow rookie Jeff Green added 17 to lead the Seattle SuperSonics over the Knicks, 117-110.

Jamal Crawford scored 29 points for the Knicks, who were without Stephon Marbury again, as he continued to mourn the sudden death of his father.

* At Phoenix, Steve Nash scored 29 points and Shawn Marion had 26 and as the the Suns defeated the Utah Jazz, 103-98. Carlos Boozer's 24 points led Utah.

* At Portland, Travis Outlaw scored 22 points as the Trail Blazers defeated the Golden State Warriors, 105-95.

* At Milwaukee, Michael Redd had 27 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists to help the Bucks snap a four-game losing streak and defeat the Orlando Magic, 100-86. The Magic's Dwight Howard had 20 points and 13 rebounds for his league-leading 19th double-double.


* Raptors guard T.J. Ford was released from an Atlanta hospital and flew home to Toronto, a day after his head struck the floor and he was removed from the court on a stretcher.

* Lakers coach Phil Jackson signed a 2-year contract extension believed to be worth about $24 million, keeping him on the bench through the 2009-10 season.

* An Illinois appellate court ruled in favor of Michael Jordan in his dispute with an ex-lover who claims the retired superstar owes her $5 million. Karla Knafel said Jordan promised her the money for remaining silent and agreeing not to file a paternity suit after she learned she was pregnant in 1991.

Jordan denied making the promise and sued Knafel in 2002, alleging that she was trying to extort money from him. DNA tests later showed Jordan was not the father of the child. *