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Agent: Artest wants to stay

By wire services
Published December 18, 2005

INDIANAPOLIS - Ron Artest doesn't want to be traded by the Pacers after all, his agent says.

Artest said last weekend that his past in Indiana haunts him, and he is interested in being traded to the New York Knicks or Cleveland Cavaliers.

But Mark Stevens, Artest's agent, told the Associated Press on Saturday: "At this moment, we're not going to put the buggy before the horse. We're waiting to hear from (Pacers president) Donnie Walsh, the gentleman and scholar that he is, and hope this can be resolved to where there won't have to be a trade."

Stevens said Walsh told him he is prepared to make Artest inactive with pay for the rest of the season if he can't find a suitable trade.

Saturday's games

CAVALIERS 115, HEAT 107: LeBron James scored 41 and Donyell Marshall added a season-high 25 to help the Cleveland hold off visiting Miami, handing coach Pat Riley his first loss since taking over the Heat on Monday.

The Heat looked sluggish early, playing their fourth road game in five nights. Shaquille O'Neal got into foul trouble early and the Cavaliers led by as many as 22 late in the third quarter.

But Miami, playing with its reserves on the floor, pulled to 95-87 with 8:09 left on strong inside play from Alonzo Mourning and Antoine Walker.

Then James took over, scoring Cleveland's next 13 - a layup high off the glass, three jumpers, a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer - as the Cavs made it 108-98 with 3:29 to go.

The Heat had won four straight, including three with Riley after Stan Van Gundy resigned Monday. Cleveland has won two straight after dropping seven of nine.

GRIZZLIES 91, SUNS 87: Mike Miller had 14 and 11 rebounds and Pau Gasol also scored 14 to help Memphis snap a three-game losing streak at home. Phoenix lost for the fourth time in its last five. Shane Battier added 13 for Memphis, while Eddie Jones and Antonio Burks had 12 each. Eddie House led the Suns with 21.

BULLS 118, CELTICS 86: Michael Sweetney had 24 and seven rebounds and Chris Duhon added 22 and eight assists to lead Chicago past visiting Boston. Chicago hit a club record nine 3-pointers in the third quarter and was 14-of-17 overall from 3-point range. The Bulls, who shot 59.7 percent overall, scored a season-high 39 in the third.

JAZZ 88, BUCKS 80: Mehmet Okur had 14 and 14 rebounds and Gordan Giricek and Deron Williams also each scored 14 in Utah's win over host Milwaukee. Utah opened the game strong, holding Milwaukee without a point until Mo Williams made a jumper with 7:18 left in the first quarter.

SPURS 90, KINGS 89: Michael Finley hit a 20-foot jumper with 2.5 seconds left to give San Antonio a win at home. Mike Bibby, who made two long shots late in the game, had a chance to win it for the Kings, but his 3-point heave over Tim Duncan and Tony Parker went off the back of the rim.

Parker had 25 and a season-high 12 assists for the Spurs, while Duncan scored 11 of his 24 in the final period and added 14 rebounds. PACERS 102, KNICKS 96: Jermaine O'Neal scored 31, including the go-ahead basket with 1:56 left, handing the Knicks their season-high sixth straight loss. Jamaal Tinsley added 23, seven assists and six rebounds, and Danny Granger had the best game of his rookie season for the Pacers, who have won four of five overall and snapped a two-game road losing streak.

CLIPPERS 89, ROCKETS 81: Sam Cassell had 22, Elton Brand scored nine of his 20 in the final six minutes and Los Angeles snapped visiting Houston's five-game winning streak. Tracy McGrady scored 25 of his 29 in the first half for the Rockets, whose loss was their first in the last 10 meetings with the Clippers. The Rockets are 0-12 this season when they score fewer than 90.

PISTONS 103, BOBCATS 78: Chauncey Billups had 21 and 12 assists as Detroit improved to a league-best 18-3 . Richard Hamilton added 15 and Ben Wallace had 13 and 13 rebounds for the Pistons, 11-2 on the road. Primoz Brezec had 17 and Emeka Okafor added 14 and 13 rebounds for the Bobcats, who shot 35 percent and scored a franchise-low 26 in the first half. Charlotte won two of three against Detroit last season and was coming off a two-day break, but the Bobcats were never in it, falling behind 14-4 and 21-12 after the first quarter. Charlotte missed 15 of its first 21 shots.

[Last modified December 18, 2005, 01:02:23]


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