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Miller's finesse propels Pacers

Wire services
Published February 9, 2004

INDIANAPOLIS - Reggie Miller still has the touch.

The 38-year-old scored 15 on five 3-pointers to help the Pacers hold off the Heat 97-91 Sunday. At Toronto on Friday, Miller was shut out from the field.

Miller's fifth 3-pointer gave Indiana a 90-82 lead with less than three minutes left, and the Pacers scored their final seven on free throws, five by Anthony Johnson.

"You know what? It's not a surprise," Miami coach Stan Van Gundy said of Miller's efficient shooting. "He's been in the league 17 years and he's still here early every day doing his shooting. The guy is a consummate pro, and it's not an accident that the ball goes in when he shoots it."

Indiana led by as many as 10 in the first half before Lamar Odom rallied Miami in the third quarter. Odom, who had 25 points, hit a 3-pointer that tied the score at 62. Dwyane Wade's two free throws gave the Heat the lead for the last time at 64-62.

GRIZZLIES 99, WOLVES 98: Shane Battier's second basket of the game, a 14-foot jumper with 2.9 seconds left, helped Memphis end Minnesota's 14-game home win streak. Mark Madsen missed an open layup at the buzzer, allowing the Grizzlies to hang on for their franchise-record 29th win 50 games into the season.

RAPTORS 84, WARRIORS 81 (OT): Morris Peterson hit a 3-pointer with three seconds left in overtime to lift visiting Toronto. Golden State collapsed in the fourth quarter, scoring just two to tie the league's futility record for a quarter set by Dallas in the third quarter of a 1997 loss to the Lakers. The combined 20 points in the fourth set a league record for fewest in a final quarter.

KINGS 115, NUGGETS 92: Peja Stojakovic made a career-high seven 3-pointers and scored 35 for Sacramento, a league-best 23-4 at home. The Nuggets have lost 15 straight in Sacramento dating to Jan.7, 1997. They were outscored 34-18 in the fourth quarter.

KNICKS 110, CLIPPERS 104: Stephon Marbury scored 15 of his season-high 42 in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter to lead host New York to its fifth straight win. Kurt Thomas added 28 points as New York improved to 9-3 under coach Lenny Wilkens.

NETS 99, 76ERS 87: Kenyon Martin matched his season high with 29 points, and host New Jersey gave interim coach Lawrence Frank his seventh straight victory. Frank, who replaced the fired Byron Scott, moved within two wins of tying the league record for the best coaching start. Kurt Rambis of the Lakers (1988-89) and Buddy Jeannette of the Baltimore Bullets (1947-48) each started 9-0.

BLAZERS 95, SONICS 85: Zach Randolph had 25 points and 16 rebounds for his 29th double double with host Portland. The Blazers led by as many as 15 in the second half, but Seattle cut it to 84-82 after Vladimir Radmanovic's 3 and Ray Allen's four straight free throws.

CUBAN FIRES BACK: Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Pistons and U.S. Olympic coach Larry Brown wasn't qualified to criticize the stance Cuban and other owners have taken against international play by their athletes.

"This is a topic that's easy for Larry to comment on," Cuban said in an e-mail to the Dallas Morning News. "He has never had to write the check for an NBA payroll in his life."

Brown said in an interview with the newspaper during the Pistons' trip to Dallas on Saturday that he finds it disingenuous that Cuban and other owners question if it is in the best interest of their teams to allow players to compete in the Olympics. He believes the presence of NBA players on the 1992 Dream Team helped develop many of the foreign players now in the league.

"If things don't work out, a player gets injured or he doesn't like the way things are going, he can do what he has done everywhere else, just leave," Cuban wrote. "As the owner of the team, I can't do that."

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