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Hawks' Ratliff blocks Indiana's shot at win

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 23, 2003

ATLANTA -- Theo Ratliff blocked a potential winning dunk by Jermaine O'Neal in the final seconds Saturday night to help the Hawks to a 92-89 victory over the Pacers, sending Indiana to its 11th consecutive road loss.

With 6.4 seconds remaining and Atlanta leading 90-89, O'Neal took an inbounds pass at the top of key and drove down the left side of the lane past Shareef Abdur-Rahim. O'Neal tried to dunk, but Ratliff, who was guarding Brad Miller, moved in for his ninth block.

Dion Glover hit two free throws to end the scoring with six-tenths of a second remaining. The Pacers' Austin Croshere then missed a 3-pointer.

BUCKS 93, HORNETS 85: Sam Cassell scored 11 of his game-high 21 in the fourth, and host Milwaukee gave George Karl his 700th win. The Bucks took a one-game lead on idle Washington for the eighth playoff spot in the East. Karl's record is 700-494 (.586) in 16 seasons with Cleveland, Golden State, Seattle and Milwaukee. The Bucks led 69-64 when Cassell hit three consecutive jumpers, the last a 3-pointer, to extend the lead to 12 points. The Hornets rallied to 83-78 on a 3-pointer by Baron Davis with 2:55 to go, but Cassell hit two more jumpers as the Bucks pulled away.

NETS 107, GRIZZLIES 99: Kerry Kittles scored 25, Jason Kidd had a season-high 18 assists and New Jersey rode a 64-point first half to victory. Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson each scored 17 for the Nets, who opened a 11/2-game lead over idle Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division. Jason Williams had six 3-pointers, 24 points and 11 assists for the Grizzlies, who lost their third straight on the road and their 28th in 35 games away from Memphis.

MAVERICKS 102, SUNS 95: Dirk Nowitzki scored 16 of his 27 in the fourth despite foul trouble, and Steve Nash had 27 points and 13 assists for host Dallas. The Mavs trailed by 15 in the first half and by seven entering the fourth, but they went ahead for good at 79-76 with 10:28 left on consecutive 3-pointers from Nowitzki and Walt Williams.

BULLS 100, KNICKS 98: Eddy Curry scored a career-high 30 and Jamal Crawford added 22 points and 10 assists for host Chicago. The Knicks, trying to climb into the eighth playoff spot in the East, were playing their fourth game in five nights and shot 39 percent.

JAZZ 91, CLIPPERS 82: Andrei Kirilenko had 17 points and six blocks, and host Utah held Los Angeles to the lowest field-goal percentage in franchise history. The Clippers finished at 26.3 percent (21-of-80). The franchise low had been 26.8 percent against the Rockets on Feb.28, 2000.

James wins third title

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- LeBron James, likely to be the top pick in this year's draft, scored 25 and had 11 rebounds as Saint Vincent-Saint Mary won its third state title in four years, beating Kettering Alter 40-36 in Ohio's Division II. The 6-foot-8 senior and three-time Mr. Basketball in Ohio was ruled ineligible by the Ohio High School Athletic Association for accepting two free sports jerseys from a Cleveland clothing store. A judge reinstated him, reducing his punishment to a two-game suspension.

BUCKS: Center Joel Przybilla was activated from the injured list, and center Jamal Sampson (right shoulder pain) was placed on it.

BULLS: Forward Eddie Robinson was activated and reserve center Dalibor Bagaric (sprained left ankle) was placed on the injured list. Robinson missed 13 games because of a pulled right hamstring.

MAVERICKS: Guard Avery Johnson was activated from the injured list. He missed five games because of a right calf strain. To make room on the roster, Dallas placed forward Popeye Jones (sprained right ankle) on the injured list.

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