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Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 12, 2001


Orlando sets trap, beats Nets again

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The 1-2-2 trap that Orlando coach Doc Rivers used to stop Stephon Marbury in the second half did better than expected. It took all the Nets out of the game.

Tracy McGrady put on a fourth-quarter show with 11 of his 36 points and the Magic's gimmick defense limited the Nets to seven second-half baskets as Orlando won 101-87 Thursday night.

"The trap wasn't to force turnovers," Rivers said. "The trap was to take the ball out of Stephon Marbury's hands, who we had no answer for in the first half."

Orlando, which also got 20 points and a season-high 14 assists from Darrell Armstrong, had all the answers in the final 24 minutes. It forced 15 of the Nets' 20 turnovers and outscored them 46-22 after falling behind by 10 points early in the third quarter.

The result on Marbury was just as good. He had 20 points, but just three in the second half.

"They let a 1-2-2 trap take them out of the game," Nets coach Byron Scott said. "We got passive. We got selfish."

The Magic snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Nets for the third time in four games. McGrady, 21, shot 14-of-27 from the field.

ROCKETS 76, KNICKS 75: An offensive collapse ruined a record-setting defensive accomplishment for host New York, which failed to score in the final 3:20. Cuttino Mobley drove around Latrell Sprewell for a layup with 8.7 seconds left to complete a game-ending 7-0 run for the Rockets. The Knicks got the final shot, but Larry Johnson missed a jumper from 18 feet. The Knicks held their opponent under 100 for the 29th consecutive time, breaking the 1954 record by the Fort Wayne Pistons.

HAWKS 107, WARRIORS 96: Dikembe Mutombo scored 20 and had 10 rebounds to lead host Atlanta. Mutombo, one of five Hawks to score double figures, had his highest total since March 28, 1999, when he scored 24 in a victory against Denver.

TRAIL BLAZERS 83, HORNETS 70: Steve Smith scored 16, including nine in the fourth quarter, as Portland pulled away for its 10th straight victory. The loss snapped Charlotte's 12-game home winning streak and gave the Trail Blazers a season sweep of the Hornets for the second straight year.

SUNS 93, PACERS 85: Shawn Marion scored a career-best 27 and had 17 rebounds for host Phoenix. Pacers coach Isiah Thomas and Jermaine O'Neal were thrown out of the game with 1:37 to play as the Suns outscored Indiana 17-8 during the final 4:20. Penny Hardaway, in his second game after missing the first 31 while recovering from knee surgery, scored 15 of his 16 in the first half. But he sat down after four minutes in the second half because of soreness in the knee.

BUCKS 102, MAVERICKS 94: Sam Cassell scored 21 and had nine assists to lead Milwaukee to its eighth straight win at the Bradley Center. Glenn Robinson added 20 points. Michael Finley led Dallas with 30 points, and Dirk Nowitzki had 23 points and 11 rebounds. The Mavericks had won a franchise-record seven straight road games.

Starbucks founder buys Sonics

SEATTLE -- The SuperSonics are being sold for $200-million to a local investment group headed by Howard Schultz, founder of the Starbucks coffee chain. The transaction also includes the WNBA's Seattle Storm.

In addition to Schultz, the purchasing group includes team president and general manager Wally Walker. Other investors were not immediately identified.

The Ackerley Group, which bought the team for $22-million in 1983, will use proceeds from the sale to pay debt, the company said after the stock markets closed.

CAVALIERS: Forward Matt Harpring had surgery on his left ankle and is expected to miss at least six weeks.

HORNETS: For Kendall Phills, the anniversary of her husband's death is bittersweet. "This is a difficult time for me," she said of the one-year anniversary of husband Bobby Phills' death. "I'm reminded he's not here anymore, but I'm also able to focus all the wonderful times we had and on his wonderful life." Phills was killed Jan. 12, 2000, in a car accident after he left Charlotte's morning shootaround.

LAKERS: Frustrated superstars Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant took their long-simmering feud public, angering coach Phil Jackson. "This is really juvenile stuff, sandbox stuff," he said. "It's silly." No major problems were evident until comments Bryant made two months ago for an article in ESPN The Magazine were made public. The argument centers on who should be the focus of the offense.

ROOKIE CHALLENGE: Chicago's Elton Brand, Houston's Steve Francis, New Jersey's Kenyon Martin and Golden State's Marc Jackson head the players for the All-Star Weekend game on Feb. 10. The game features the last two classes of rookies. Orlando's Mike Miller was chosen.

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