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I was having the same issue with my 95 GMC. I replaced the battery and alternator. It would start fine at times, at other times it would be sluggish. I finally took the starter off and had it checked. Turns out the starter was bad. When it would get hot, it would act as though the battery was dead. Replaced the starter and it has not acted up again. Have the starter checked. Replace if bad.
Well, if you jumped the battery and it started, maybe you need a new battery. Get that checked out first. Also, when was the air filter replaced? I would probably take to an indy shop if it wasn't the battery or air filter because it could be a bunch of things: starter, fuel pump, fuel filter or fuel injectors.
You said you tightened the battery cables, did you check the other end of the negative where it bolts to the engine. When you tightened the cables you also used a battery brush and cleaned the posts and ends?
I had the same problem in a 1997 SC2. Turns out that finicky/broken door lock/unlock switches were causing an intermittent short.
I removed the 20A fuses to these locks in the switch panel under the radio. Problem fixed.