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NBA briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 3, 2001


Nets hold off Magic's rally for 120-110 win

ORLANDO -- Stephon Marbury scored 30 Tuesday night as New Jersey snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 120-110 victory over the Magic. The victory left the Nets with a fresh outlook.

"This is a new year," Marbury said. "I'm not concentrating on anything that happened the last two games."

Trailing by 22 at the start of the fourth quarter, Orlando went on a 35-17 run and cut its deficit to 108-104 on a pair of free throws by Darrell Armstrong with just more than three minutes remaining.

New Jersey countered with a 12-6 run over the final 3:08.

"I thought "Oh no, here we go again,' " New Jersey's Kendall Gill said. "But I think things need to fall our way. The law of averages was on our side tonight because we've had enough bad luck this year."

Marbury made 10 of 11 free throws and had six assists and three steals for the Nets, who shot 59.3 percent through three quarters.

"(New Jersey) came out with a lot of intensity," Orlando's Troy Hudson said. "We didn't match it."

ROCKETS 100, CAVALIERS 95: Carlos Rogers scored a season-high 22 and Steve Francis added 21 for visiting Houston.

The victory was the second in nine games for the Rockets, whose bench outscored Cleveland's 45-11.

Rogers, playing in his second game since coming off the injured list, made 10 of 11 field-goal attempts.

SPURS 80, HEAT 72: Miami closed within a point several times in the third quarter, but San Antonio snapped the Heat's five-game winning streak.

The Spurs hold a 13-1 advantage over Miami in San Antonio.

WIZARDS 115, WOLVES 108: Felipe Lopez scored a career-high 26 and Chris Whitney had a season-high 13 assists for host Washington.

The Wizards won back-to-back games for the first time in 39 games.

HAWKS 92, CELTICS 81: Jason Terry scored nine of his 14 second-half points in the third quarter, and Roshown McLeod had 15 of his 21 points in the first half for host Atlanta, which ended a two-game losing streak and won for the fifth time in seven games.

BUCKS 104, BULLS 70: Milwaukee got its biggest win ever over host Chicago. Milwaukee hadn't beaten the Bulls so decisively since a 33-point win March 30, 1984, before Michael Jordan arrived.

PACERS 91, SONICS 83: Jermaine O'Neal scored 14 of his game-high 20 in the first quarter and had 15 rebounds for his 16th career double-double for visiting Indiana.

Around the league

CELTICS: Boston activated forward Walter McCarty, who missed six games with tendinitis in his right knee. He took the roster spot of center Tony Battie, who was placed on the injured list with a sprained left ankle.

WIZARDS: Michael Smith said an assault charge against him after a nightclub scuffle is a misunderstanding. The reserve forward, arrested early Monday morning, released a statement saying he did nothing wrong. He was arrested shortly before 2:30 Monday at the Zanzibar Club in southwest Washington. Two women also were charged with simple assault stemming from a fight.

CAVS-HAWKS: The Cavaliers traded guard Brevin Knight to the Hawks for guards Jim Jackson, Anthony Johnson and Larry Robinson. The 6-foot-6 Jackson joins his sixth team and has averaged 17.4 points in nine seasons. Cleveland also waived forward J.R. Reid and guard Michael Hawkins to make room for Jackson.

LEAGUE AWARDS: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was named the player of the month, 76ers guard Aaron McKie earned player of the week and Warriors forward Marc Jackson is the rookie of the month.

PENALTIES: The Raptors' Corliss Williamson and the Suns' Tom Gugliotta were fined $10,000 each and suspended one game without pay for fighting during Phoenix's 109-103 victory Saturday. Phoenix center Chris Dudley was fined $5,000 for yelling at an official and failing to leave the court immediately after being ejected during a loss to the Lakers Thursday.

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