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Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 7, 2001

Pitino taking time off from Celtics

MIAMI -- Boston coach Rick Pitino, frustrated by his team's lackluster play, decided to leave the Celtics for at least one day after they lost their fifth straight game, 112-86 to the Heat on Saturday.

While the Celtics planned to fly home, Pitino said he would stay in Miami with his wife to do some "soul searching."

Pitino has said since late last season, his third consecutive losing season, that 2000-01 would be his last season in Boston if he doesn't see improved results.

Tim Hardaway had 24 points and 10 assists as Miami had its biggest offensive output of the season. Its high was a 110-102 overtime win over Detroit Dec. 30.

In New Orleans, meanwhile, charges were dismissed against Heat forward Anthony Mason, who was accused of beating a police officer, inciting a riot and resisting arrest on Bourbon Street in July.

Mason pleaded innocent to the charges, which came three weeks before he was traded from the Charlotte Hornets to Miami. Mason was arrested July 3 after officers subdued him with pepper spray, police said at the time.

MAVERICKS 103, WIZARDS 85: Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 points, including 12 straight, for visiting Dallas. Nowitzki, Dallas' leading scorer, had 14 in the final 10 minutes of the first half, including Dallas' last five of the second quarter and its first seven points of the third. He hit a three-pointer with under two minutes left in the third that sparked a 10-point run and gave Dallas a 75-63 lead. He also had 10 rebounds.

NETS 97, WARRIORS 92: Keith Van Horn scored 19 points in his first game since breaking his left leg in October for host New Jersey, which took over after Golden State coach Dave Cowens was ejected with his team up 67-63 with 1:09 left in the third quarter.

CAVALIERS: Rookie center Chris Mihm injured his right knee in the first half against Philadelphia. He scored on a putback with 7:27 left in the second quarter and his knee locked up as he came down in the lane. Mihm gingerly walked under assistance to the locker room and didn't return.

HAWKS: Forward Alan Henderson was activated. He practiced Friday and reported no serious discomfort with his left shoulder, which he sprained Dec. 9. ... Forward Andy Panko signed a 10-day contract.

KNICKS: Guard Charlie Ward, who has missed 19 games after knee surgery, is expected to return tonight against Washington, two weeks ahead of schedule. "As far as how he'll play or how long he will play, I don't know," coach Jeff Van Gundy said.

Late Friday

PACERS 93, KINGS 91 (OT): For 48 minutes, Chris Webber was on an amazing roll. In overtime, he lost his edge and Sacramento lost the game. Webber had career highs of 51 points and 26 rebounds but missed four shots in overtime, two in the final minute. Webber had more points, rebounds, field goals (24) and shots (47) than anyone since the Kings moved from Kansas City in 1983.

NUGGETS 100, JAZZ 87: Antonio McDyess scored 31 points as host Denver handed Utah its fifth straight loss. Two free throws by Karl Malone cut Denver's lead to 82-76 with 6:42 left, but McDyess countered with consecutive baskets.

SUNS 108, GRIZZLIES 76: Jason Kidd needed only three quarters to get his fifth triple double of the season as Phoenix routed visiting Vancouver. Kidd had 11 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds. The Suns led 83-56 after three quarters.

HORNETS 86, CLIPPERS 73: Eddie Robinson, activated earlier in the day after missing six games with a bruised tailbone, scored a career-high 21 for visiting Charlotte, which held Los Angeles without a field goal for more than nine minutes at the end of the second quarter and beginning of the third.

TRAIL BLAZERS 119, BUCKS 115: Steve Smith scored 26 for host Portland, which held on despite Tim Thomas' career-high 39 points and a record eight three-pointers in the second half. The mark for threes in a half was seven, shared by 10 players.

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