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NBA briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 6, 2001


Magic runs past Mavs

ORLANDO -- Tracy McGrady scored 23 points and seldom-used Cory Alexander keyed a decisive second-half run as the Magic defeated Dallas 95-81 on Monday night.

Darrell Armstrong had 21 points and Bo Outlaw added 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Magic, which gained a measure of revenge after blowing an 11-point fourth-quarter lead to the Mavericks and losing 115-106 in overtime Jan. 18.

Orlando trailed by six with 1:56 remaining in the third quarter but outscored Dallas 21-2 in the next seven minutes. Alexander keyed the run with seven of his season-high nine points, including back-to-back baskets in the closing seconds of the third quarter.

Alexander, with the team since Jan. 29, entered the game with a total of seven points in eight games.

HEAT 87, PISTONS 84: Brian Grant scored 20 points and Dan Majerle made a three-pointer in the final seconds as host Miami overcame the loss of guard Eddie Jones.

The Heat won their third game in a row and fifth in six games, but it wasn't easy.

Jones, the cornerstone of a blockbuster trade with the Hornets last summer, dislocated his left shoulder in the second quarter and was taken off on a stretcher. His long-term prognosis won't be known until today.

SPURS 91, GRIZZLIES 77: Visiting San Antonio took control by holding Vancouver scoreless for nine minutes in the second half.

JAZZ 109, HAWKS 102: Karl Malone scored 30 points and John Stockton 22 as visiting Utah beat Atlanta for the sixth time in a row.

BUCKS 107, NETS 100: Ray Allen scored 23 points and Sam Cassell scored 14 of his 20 in the fourth quarter for visiting Milwaukee.

Strickland to Blazers

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A week ago, Rod Strickland was an unwanted player on a terrible team. So Monday he gladly accepted a return to the Blazers, who started getting good only after they traded Strickland five years ago.

"I'm not here to be a savior or anything. I'm just here to kind of blend in and fit in," Strickland said after his first practice since the team signed him for the rest of the season.

Strickland, 34, will back up Damon Stoudamire at point guard. Six other teams showed interest in Strickland after he was waived by the Wizards last week. But he decided to accept the Blazers' offer of $2.25-million, the amount of the mid-level salary cap exception they had available.

GRIZZLIES: A top aide to the governor of Louisiana said New Orleans is one of two remaining candidates trying to get the team.

"We are in the final two," said Steve Perry, chief of staff for Gov. Mike Foster, during remarks to the Press Club of Baton Rouge.

He said Anaheim, Calif., was the other city still in the hunt for the Grizzlies, who have been given permission to relocate after heavy financial losses in Canada.

PISTONS: Rookie Mateen Cleaves was ticketed in Michigan last weekend for speeding and driving with a suspended license.

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