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Bucks spoil the return of Martin

By wire services
Published January 16, 2004

MILWAUKEE - Toni Kukoc scored 10 of his 17 in the fourth quarter as the Bucks defeated the Nets 86-83 Thursday to spoil the return of Kenyon Martin.

Martin, suspended two games for fighting, had just two baskets in the first half. But he scored 14 in the fourth quarter and finished with 24. He also had 10 rebounds before fouling out.

"I was just trying to come out and get my feet wet, first," Martin said. "And, then just take it from there. I think I did a great job of that, especially in the fourth."

Michael Redd scored 15 and Erick Strickland had 11 as Milwaukee won its 10th consecutive at home. Milwaukee reserves combined for 48 points.

"When the Bucks bring their bench guys in, it raises their intensity level," Nets coach Byron Scott. "Those guys take it to a different level, and we didn't match it."

Jason Collins had 10 points and seven rebounds and Aaron Williams scored 13 points for New Jersey, which had won eight of 10.

With the Bucks clinging to a four-point lead with less than a minute to play, Kerry Kittles hit a 3-pointer with 39.1 seconds left.

But Strickland made two pressure free throws and Jason Kidd missed a 3-point attempt as time expired.

Back in New Jersey, Nets officials continued talks with with bidders about the franchise's sale. The race appears to be down to two groups - one headed by New Jersey developer Charles Kushner and another by Bruce Ratner, a real estate developer who wants to move the Nets to Brooklyn, N.Y.

Ratner appears to be the top bidder, reportedly having made a $300-million offer. Kushner's group has bid $267.5-million. That group would keep the Nets at the Continental Airlines Arena at the Meadowlands sports complex.

RAPTORS 78, HORNETS 74 (OT): Forward Vince Carter went down clutching his right leg after losing his balance during a dunk attempt for visiting Toronto. Carter left the game shortly after the play and did not return. Team officials said he has a strained quadriceps and he will be re-evaluated today before determining how long he'll be out of the lineup. Carter was soaring through the lane as he was fouled by George Lynch. Carter stayed down for about five minutes and appeared to be holding his knee before being helped to the free-throw line. Standing with nearly all of his weight on his left leg, he missed both free throws, then Toronto intentionally committed a foul so Carter could be taken from the game. Toronto was leading 15-9 when he left. Jalen Rose had 20 for the Raptors. Lynch had 12.

JAZZ 97, HEAT 85: Andrei Kirilenko scored 15 of his 26 in the fourth quarter for host Utah. The teams combined for 67 personal fouls, but it still wasn't close to the shot-clock era record for regulation. That was 84 between Indiana and Kansas City on Oct. 22, 1977. Raul Lopez added 13 points and DeShawn Stevenson 12 for the Jazz. Miami had more fouls (35) than rebounds (33) in its fourth consecutive loss. Eddie Jones scored 18 to lead the Heat. Utah has not lost to Miami since November 2000. Kirilenko also had 12 rebounds and five blocks.

GRIZZLIES 108, BULLS 93: James Posey scored 16 of 23 in the fourth quarter and former Gator Jason Williams added 20 for host Memphis. Posey was 5-of-9 from the field and hit all 10 of his free throws as the Grizzlies won their third straight. Former Gator Mike Miller scored 12 for Memphis. The Grizzlies closed the half with a 16-3 run to take a 56-42 lead at the break. Williams hit a desperation shot from beyond halfcourt at the horn.

SUNS 105, TRAIL BLAZERS 96: Amare Stoudemire had 22 points and 10 rebounds as Phoenix snapped a four-game road losing streak. Portland played without Rasheed Wallace (ankle).

WARRIORS 119, CAVALIERS 102: Clifford Robinson had a season-high 35 points, including a career-high seven 3-pointers, for host Golden State. The Warriors had only 10 players available after Nick Van Exel was placed on the injured list with a swollen knee. Cavs forward Ira Newble was activated and guard J.R. Bremer was placed on the injured list.

KNICKS: Lenny Wilkens was wrapping up his introductory news conference when a grinning Stephon Marbury strode over to the dais. "Here comes another Brooklyn guy," Wilkens said before receiving a big hug from the point guard. Marbury delivered the warmest embrace to Wilkens as the Knicks welcomed their new coach. Wilkens then ran a brief practice.

ROCKETS: Mark Jackson, 38, who ranks second all-time in assists (10,215), signed.

[Last modified January 16, 2004, 01:33:00]

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