Riley, Shaq rise to occasion

Associated Press
Published December 14, 2005

CHICAGO - Everything about Pat Riley's return to the sideline looked familiar: whistling at his players through a curled tongue, stalking the sideline in French cuffs and slicked back hair.

And relying on his All-Star big man to win the game.

Riley's second tenure as Miami Heat coach got off to a successful start Tuesday, getting 30 points from Shaquille O'Neal in a 100-97 victory over the Bulls.

Riley, the team president, stepped back into his old job on Monday, when Stan Van Gundy resigned. He saw a double-digit lead in the fourth dwindle to two, then watched a 3-pointer by Chicago's Luol Deng clang off the rim as time expired.

"You coach on instinct," Riley said. "It's going to take some time for me to get real comfortable with all the things you have to do at the end of the game. It's going to take me time to get up to speed on everything."

O'Neal made his first start in his second game back for Miami since spraining his right ankle - an injury that knocked him out of 18 games. Dwyane Wade and Antoine Walker scored 14 apiece.

Kirk Hinrich led the Bulls with 26 points, and Darius Songaila added a season-high 19. Chicago's Ben Gordon scored nine in 25 minutes after missing two games with a sprained right knee.

The Bulls had one final chance after Wade hit 1 of 2 free throws with 6.9 seconds left. Deng, near the Heat basket, inbounded the ball to Chandler near midcourt and got the ball back for a 3 from the left wing that hit the rim.

HAWKS 100, CAVS 94: Al Harrington scored 20 and Tyronn Lue had a season-high 19 as visiting Atlanta won just its second road game. The Hawks came in an NBA-worst 3-16 overall and 1-10 on the road. LeBron James scored 39 with 10 rebounds and six assists for Cleveland, which was without All-Star center Zydrunas Ilgauskas (sprained knee). Cleveland closed within 96-91 on Donyell Marshall's 3-pointer with 14.2 seconds to go, but Josh Childress and Josh Smith made free throws to help the Hawks snap a seven-game losing streak against the Cavs.

KINGS 93, TIMBERWOLVES 91: Bonzi Wells hit a 3 pointer from the corner as time expired to lift visiting Sacramento. Wells appeared to hand the Timberwolves their sixth victory in seven games when he missed one of two free throws with 28 seconds left, leaving the deficit at 91-89. Trenton Hassell's driving layup gave the Wolves a lead two seconds earlier. But Kevin Garnett missed a baseline jumper and the Kings got their final chance.

NUGGETS 101, BOBCATS 85: Carmelo Anthony scored a career-high 42 and visiting Denver handed the Bobcats their eighth straight defeat. With Michael Jordan in attendance, Anthony had his second 40-point game in less than a week. He also reached that mark in a victory over Miami on Friday. Charlotte, without starting forward Gerald Wallace (sprained finger), came back from a 10-point third quarter deficit with a 12-0 run, taking a 74-72 lead into the fourth after playing from behind through most of the game. But the Nuggets rallied, building the lead to double digits again when Anthony hit a pair of free throws with 4:57 to go to make it 92-82.

SPURS 95, CLIPPERS 87 (OT): Tim Duncan hit two free throws with 12 seconds left to send the game into overtime for host San Antonio. The Spurs climbed back from deficits as large as eight against the Pacific Division's leader. Michael Finley, filling in for an injured Manu Ginobili, had 21 points and 10 rebounds, both season highs. Finley had seven points in overtime, including two free throws with 28.7 left. Duncan was 1-for-11 from the line before hitting two in the clutch.

WIZARDS 94, NETS 74: Host Washington broke a three-game losing streak without All-Star Gilbert Arenas (sore back). Chucky Atkins ran the offense and Jarvis Hayes scored 19 to lead a balanced attack. The Wizards, who have had trouble blowing big leads, never trailed in their final game before a five-game, West Coast road trip. A 20-point second-quarter lead was cut to seven at halftime, but Hayes scored eight in a third dominated 31-17 by the Wizards.

WARRIORS 110, SONICS 107 (OT): Baron Davis made a pull-up 3-pointer with less than a second left in overtime and the Golden State Warriors broke their first losing streak of the season with a 110-107 win over the Seattle SuperSonics on Tuesday night. While Davis came through at the end, it was the play of reserve guard Derek Fisher that kept the Warriors close. Fisher scored a season-high 26 points and carried the Warriors in the fourth quarter with 10 points. In overtime, he scored five points, including a 3-pointer to start the extra period.

Four teams to train, compete in Europe

Four teams, including the defending champion Spurs, will conduct next year's training camp in Europe and then play against top European clubs in seven cities and five countries. The tournament, called NBA Europe Live, also features the Clippers, 76ers and Suns. Commissioner David Stern called it "the most ambitious international competition in league history."