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Bucks' Allen quiets Magic's comeback

©Associated Press

December 24, 2002


ORLANDO -- Milwaukee's Ray Allen hid the pain in his ankles rather well against Orlando.

Allen had 35 points on 12-of-22 shooting, adding six rebounds and six assists to lead the Bucks past the Magic 108-103 Monday night.

"I have arthritic pain in my ankles," Allen said. "The right one, I already had it (the pain) in there, but the left one's starting to act up. It feels like my ankles are just locking up."

It was Allen's clutch shooting that secured Milwaukee's second win in its past five games. Every time Orlando threatened down the stretch, Allen responded.

Two free throws by the Magic's Mike Miller cut the lead to 97-95 with 1:44 left, but Allen hit a 3-pointer 28 seconds later. Orlando's Shawn Kemp then hit two free throws, but Allen followed with an off-balance shot to put the Bucks up 102-97 with 47.3 seconds to go.

Milwaukee converted six more free throws while the Magic hit a couple of 3-pointers, missing seven other shots in the final 1:27. For the quarter Orlando shot 9-of-27.

"It was a great Christmas present," Bucks coach George Karl said of the victory. "Kind of spirit-lifting to us."

Orlando was without Tracy McGrady, its leading scorer, for the third time in the past four games. McGrady is expected to return Wednesday against Detroit after sitting out to rest a lower back bruise he sustained Dec.10 against the Lakers.

Miller scored 29 and Grant Hill 27, but it wasn't enough.

"There's certain teams that you need your leading scorer against, and when you're playing the No.2 offense in the NBA, you need every bullet you can get," Magic coach Doc Rivers said. "Grant and Mike were phenomenal, and so was Darrell (Armstrong).

"We just didn't get a lot of offense anywhere else. We just didn't have a lot of other places to turn."

Also, the Magic and its sponsors paid for 13-year-old sniper victim Iran Brown and his family to take a Florida vacation, complete with a chance to shoot baskets with the team, visit Walt Disney World and attend two games.

"I thought it would be a good idea for him to come down, hang out with a couple of guys, shoot around and get a chance to go to a game, Disney World," McGrady said. "Hopefully, he'll enjoy this time. It's good to have him down."

Brown was the eighth victim of the shooting spree that terrorized Washington and its suburbs. He was shot Oct.7 on his way into middle school in Bowie, Md.

He was hospitalized for several weeks with severe injuries to major organs, including his spleen, stomach and pancreas. His spleen was removed.

PACERS 112, HAWKS 97: Al Harrington scored a career-high 40, Brad Miller added 22 and 11 rebounds and Ron Artest had 24 points as host Indiana became the first Eastern Conference team with 20 wins. Atlanta shot 49 percent but could never sustain a serious rally. The Pacers, who led 64-54 at halftime, built their lead to 17 in the third before the Hawks closed to 95-86 midway through the fourth on a 3-pointer by Dion Glover. Jamaal Tinsley hit a jumper on the next possession, and Indiana never let the lead dip below double digits again.

NETS 99, BULLS 83: Lucious Harris scored nine of his 20 during the game-breaking third, and the Nets spoiled Jay Williams' professional return to New Jersey. Williams, who starred at St. Joseph of Metuchen before going to Duke, had eight points, four assists and a rebound. Kenyon Martin scored the Nets' first six in the third. Harris hit two 3-pointers and converted a three-point play in the quarter, and Jason Kidd had seven points. New Jersey finished the quarter with a 31-13 advantage.

MAVERICKS 92, WIZARDS 86: Dirk Nowitzki hit a jumper as the shot clock expired, then put back a rebound for another score, helping Dallas take control in the final minutes. Nowitzki tied his season high with 17 rebounds and scored 10 of his 30 in the fourth as the Mavericks bounced back from their first home loss to improve to 13-1 at American Airlines Center this season.

CAVALIERS 74, HEAT 72: Rookie Smush Parker's 3-point play keyed an 11-2 game-ending spurt, and Eddie Jones missed a driving layup with 4.5 seconds left for host Cleveland. Heat rookie Caron Butler could have tied it but was short with a 12-footer over Jumaine Jones before the final horn.

JAZZ 96, ROCKETS 91: Karl Malone scored 10 of his 31 in the fourth -- including six in the last 1:30 -- to rally visiting Utah. Matt Harpring had eight of his 25 points in the final quarter as the Jazz won its third straight. Steve Francis had 26 points and Yao Ming 18 with seven rebounds for Houston.

SUNS 89, SONICS 88: Stephon Marbury, who was 3-for-12, sank a leaning 13-footer with a half-second to play for host Phoenix. After a timeout, Seattle had a last chance to win. Brent Barry threw an inbounds lob from halfcourt to the basket for Desmond Mason, but Shawn Marion blocked the shot as the buzzer sounded.

SPURS 99, HORNETS 94 (OT): Tim Duncan scored 29 and tied a career high with 23 rebounds to lead host San Antonio. The Spurs went ahead 98-94 in overtime on Bruce Bowen's 3-pointer with 2:37 to play. Duncan added a free throw with 15.4 seconds left.

CHARLOTTE: Bob Johnson plans to hire former Knicks vice president Ed Tapscott to run the new franchise, the Charlotte Observer reported. Tapscott, 49, is a former coach, agent and basketball executive who works on Wizards television broadcasts.

GRIZZLIES: Wesley Person probably will be sidelined up to three weeks with a broken right index finger. He broke it Sunday. HAWKS: Guard Emanual Davis was placed on the injured list because of a torn right Achilles' tendon. He will miss the rest of the season.

HONORS: Reggie Miller and Lisa Leslie were named USA Basketball's athletes of the year. Miller was honored for his leadership on the team that finished sixth at the World Championship. Leslie, who plays for the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks, led the U.S. women's team to a 9-0 record and its record seventh gold medal.

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