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Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 21, 2001

Nelson returns; Mavs lose

DALLAS -- Leave it to Don Nelson to turn his return from beating cancer into a laughing matter.

Seeking levity on what could have been an emotional night, the Mavericks' coach celebrated the end of his 52-day absence to treat prostate cancer by wearing a red foam ball on his nose and ending his pseudo-feud with Shaquille O'Neal.

Nelson, looking tan and about 10 pounds lighter, beamed as he walked into Reunion Arena for his introduction Tuesday night for the Mavs' game against the Lakers. The nose was for O'Neal, who called Nelson "a clown" after the Mavericks harshly defended him in their last meeting.

But Nelson's return could not inspire the Mavericks to overcome their penchant for failure against the Lakers. Dallas lost its 21st in 22 meetings with the Lakers, 119-109.

O'Neal scored 29 points to pace five Lakers in double figures. Steve Nash had a season-high 31 points for Dallas, which went 13-8 under Nelson's son, Donnie.

BUCKS 101, BULLS 92: Ray Allen scored 17 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter for visiting Milwaukee in a game marred by an ugly scuffle between Milwaukee's Glenn Robinson and Chicago forward Ron Artest in the third quarter. With about 5:35 left in the third, Artest and Robinson were jockeying for position near the Bucks basket when Robinson threw an elbow that hit Artest in the stomach. Artest wrapped his arms around Robinson's shoulders and pulled him to the floor from behind. Calm was restored after about five minutes.

ROCKETS 101, CELTICS 84: Steve Francis fell two assists short of a triple double for host Houston. He had 19 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists for the Rockets.

GRIZZLIES 116, WIZARDS 104: Michael Dickerson scored nine of his 23 points during a 13-0 third-quarter run for visiting Vancouver, which extended its franchise-record winning streak to five.

KNICKS 76, HEAT 74: Tim Hardaway threw up an airball and an off-target three-pointer on Miami's final two possessions as host New York allowed 12 points in the fourth quarter.

RAPTORS 113, WARRIORS 102: Vince Carter scored 33 points and Mark Jackson moved passed Isiah Thomas into fourth place on the career assist list for host Toronto. Jackson had 12 assists, raising his career total to 9,065. Mookie Blaylock's jumper cut Toronto's lead to two points with 3:22 left, but Jackson followed with a three-point play.

GRIZZLIES: Community leaders trying to keep the team in Vancouver have received four offers from people willing to buy all or part of the team.

The Buffalo, N.Y., city council unanimously approved inviting commissioner David Stern and team owner Michael Heisley to visit and consider relocating the franchise there.

SHOOTING SUSPECT: A man charged in the death of Herbert Cleaves, older brother of Pistons rookie Mateen Cleaves, surrendered to authorities. Jaroy L. Davis, 19, is charged with an open count of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder and possession of a firearm during a felony.

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