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© St. Petersburg Times, published January 18, 2001

Eisley stuns Hornets

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Howard Eisley hit a three-pointer as time expired Wednesday night to lift the Mavericks to a 91-90 victory over the Hornets, snapping Charlotte's three-game losing streak.

Charlotte led 90-88 with seven seconds to play after Jamal Mashburn made one of his two free throws.

After a Dallas timeout, Michael Finley inbounded the ball to Dirk Nowitzki, who nearly lost it while looking for an open man to pass. With two seconds left, he spotted Eisley alone in the left corner and whipped the ball to him. Eisley barely looked before he tossed it up. The ball swished through as the clock hit zero.

"I have no idea how I got that open," said Eisley, who scored 11 of his 23 in the fourth quarter. "I was just there and I yelled for Dirk and hit the shot."

The Hornets stood on the court in disbelief while the Mavericks, led by flamboyant owner Mark Cuban, sprinted across the court screaming in delight.

"I felt good about the momentum and thought we could have won in overtime," Dallas interim coach Donn Nelson said. "I wanted the two to send it into overtime. I never called for the 3, but I'll take it."

Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 27 points, and Eisley finished with 23.

The Hornets dropped their third straight and ninth in their past 12 despite a balanced effort from all five starters.

TIMBERWOLVES 89, JAZZ 81: Kevin Garnett scored 23 as visiting Minnesota snapped Utah's four-game winning streak. It was the Jazz's sixth loss in the past 10 games.

Terrell Brandon scored nine in the fourth quarter, and Anthony Peeler had seven of his 17 in the final quarter.

Brandon and Peeler scored the final nine for the Timberwolves, who pulled away from a tie at 78 with 2:02 remaining. With the Jazz collapsing inside on Garnett, either Brandon or Peeler was open on the perimeter.

Utah suffered without the inside defense of center Olden Polynice, who was suspended by the league for one game after he pleaded guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor charges of impersonating a police officer and disturbing the peace. The charges stemmed from traffic altercations last year when Polynice followed other motorists and exchanged words.

RAPTORS 98, SPURS 91: Vince Carter scored 27, and all five of Toronto's starters scored in double figures as the Raptors rallied from a 19-point deficit to hand host San Antonio its third straight loss.

NETS 108, WIZARDS 89: Keith Van Horn scored a season-high 27 and grabbed 12 rebounds as host New Jersey handed Washington its eighth straight loss.

The victory was the second straight for the Nets, who snapped a four-game losing streak Monday.

NUGGETS 121, GRIZZLIES 97: Antonio McDyess had 20 points and 20 rebounds as host Denver overwhelmed Vancouver.

76ERS 99, BULLS 88: Allen Iverson scored 27 of his 43 in the first half as host Philadelphia won a matchup of teams with the best and worst records. Philadelphia won its fourth straight, 11th in its past 12 and improved the league's top record to 29-9.

Camby suspended for punch

Center Marcus Camby was suspended five games and will lose about $345,000 for throwing a wild punch at San Antonio's Danny Ferry that didn't connect.

The punishment angered the Knicks, especially coach Jeff Van Gundy, who leapt into the fray and banged heads with Camby. Van Gundy needed more than a dozen stitches over his left eye.

"I'm not here to try to defend Marcus, what he did was wrong and he admitted that, but clearly the punishment doesn't fit his actions. It hurts us, and it hurts our chances of winning," Van Gundy said. "I wonder what he would have gotten if he had hit the guy."

Camby was fined $25,000 and will lose approximately $320,000 of his $5.7-million salary for missing five games. He can return Feb. 1 against Philadelphia.

Ferry drew a one-game suspension and $7,500 fine for his actions.

HAWKS: Guard Matt Maloney was placed on the injured list after he injured three fingers on his right hand in a two-on-two scrimmage Tuesday. He was fitted for a cast and should miss several games.

ROCKETS: The Houston Chronicle reported Hakeem Olajuwon would welcome a chance to move on, but the team doesn't want to let him go. Olajuwon was eligible to come off the injured list Wednesday after missing nine games with a swollen knee. "It's not likely and it's not probable," general manager Carroll Dawson said.

SUNS: Elliot Perry, who started the season with Orlando, signed a 10-day contract after guard Penny Hardaway was probably lost for the season. Perry has played 13 games for the Suns this season. Hardaway was placed on injured reserve Tuesday because of soreness in his knee.

WIZARDS: Guard Laron Profit was activated, and forward Obinna Ekezie was placed on the injured list. Profit has been bothered by back spasms, and Ekezie sprained his left ankle in practice Sunday.

ALL-STARS: Coach Larry Brown was selected to lead the Eastern Conference for the All-Star Game on Feb. 11 at Washington's MCI Center after his 76ers clinched the best mid-season conference record with Wednesday's win. No Western Conference coach has clinched the job.

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