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Webber returns to form

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 8, 2003

MILWAUKEE -- Chris Webber made his return from an injury a strong one.

He had 18 points, 13 rebounds and six assists after missing the last two games as the Sacramento Kings beat the Bucks 101-76 Tuesday night. Mike Bibby added 20 points.

"Chris does so much for us," Kings coach Rick Adelman said after his star forward played 33 minutes. "Hopefully, his knee is a thing of the past."

Webber, who had a bruised left knee, shot 9-for-22, but it was his defensive presence, rebounding and looking for his teammates that helped pace the Kings' attack.

Ray Allen, playing on two sore ankles, led Milwaukee with 16 points, and Tim Thomas added 13. It wasn't enough as the Bucks, who were without point guard Sam Cassell, finished with their lowest point total this season. The previous low was 78 on Dec. 3 at Washington.

Doug Christie had 12 points and Damon Jones added 10 as the Kings won their third straight.

ROCKETS 94, WOLVES 86: Maurice Taylor had six of his 18 points during a 19-0 run in the second quarter for host Houston. Leading 23-15, Minnesota went 0-for-10 during a span of 6:21 in the pivotal quarter. Steve Francis added 14 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds for the Rockets. Minnesota's Wally Szczerbiak, who was activated from the injured list on Monday, did not suit up and isn't expected to play until next week.

Houston's Yao Ming signed a deal with Sorrent Inc., to develop a wireless video game. The 7-foot-6 center's likeness will be incorporated into "Yao Ming Basketball," which will be available in China this year.

SUNS 88, BLAZERS 81: Stephon Marbury scored 20 and had seven assists as visiting Phoenix overcame a 12-point second-half deficit. The Suns, who have won 12 of their past 15, wore down the Blazers with a 14-0 run to go ahead in the fourth quarter.

MAVERICKS: Guard Adam Harrington was waived and reported the team is negotiating with Italian League star Antoine Rigaudeau. Dallas owner Mark Cuban denied the report: "There's nothing to say, no story. They've been wrong 100 times before." Rigaudeau, who is averaging 13.9 points for Virtus Bologna, is negotiating a buyout of his contract to move to the NBA.

RAPTORS: Center Greg Foster and guard Jermaine Jackson were waived, and guard Rafer Alston and forward Art Long signed 10-day contracts.

SONICS: Center Jerome James was activated and rookie forward Reggie Evans was placed on the injured list with a sprained right shoulder.

EXPANSION: Former Knicks executive Ed Tapscott will oversee operations for the team in Charlotte, which begins play next season. Tapscott, whose title will be executive vice president, expects to hire a general manager by early summer. Owners will vote Friday on whether to approve Black Entertainment Television founder Robert Johnson as the owner of the franchise.

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