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NBA briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 26, 2001

Hardaway is out for series with Charlotte

Hardaway is out for series with Charlotte

MIAMI -- Hobbled by a bruised left foot, Heat guard Tim Hardaway will miss the rest of the first-round playoff series against the Hornets.

Hardaway sat out practice Wednesday, but wearing a protective boot, he limped onto the court after treatment and made a brief statement to end all speculation about his injury.

"I'm just going to let it rest and heal," said Hardaway, who also was slowed during the playoffs the past two seasons. "I'm not doing nothing to help my team out, and that's it."

Hardaway, who averaged 14.9 points and 6.3 assists this season, has been ineffective in the two blowout home losses to Charlotte. Limited to 36 minutes in the two games, he had five points and nine assists and struggled on defense.

CAMBY RETURNS: A downcast Marcus Camby sat slumped in front of a dozen television cameras, shook his head and said he'll try to do his best in tonight's Game 2 of the Knicks' playoff series against Toronto.

"It's going to be hard for me to focus and be where I need to be in my head, but I have 24 hours. I'm dealing with it," Camby said after returning to practice two days after his mother and two sisters were held hostage at their home in Connecticut.

"Being in the house and being surrounded by all the other stuff can wear you down, so I was happy to be able to come out here today and participate in practice. Hopefully I'll have my mind right for the battle," he said.

The Knicks practiced for two hours and were not as sharp as they were a day earlier, according to coach Jeff Van Gundy, who said Camby will start at center tonight.

DAVIS FINED: Portland's Dale Davis was fined $7,500 by the league for verbally abusing officials in a 106-93 playoff loss to the Lakers.

"I'm pretty shocked, especially the way things went down," Davis said. "I'm still checking into it. For the most part, I pretty much kept my cool."

Davis, 32, plans to appeal the fine.

JAZZ: Guard John Starks, who missed Game 2 of the first-round series, had surgery to remove a testicle, which was not believed to be cancerous.

David Allred, vice president for public relations for the Jazz, refused comment. The team issued a statement Tuesday saying Starks had "a minor medical procedure."

SONICS: The team thinks it's time to shake up the roster.

"Anything is possible with our team," GM Wally Walker said.

He said the team might be willing to part with star guard Gary Payton if they get the right offer, will try to trade underachieving power forward Vin Baker and his $87-million contract during the off-season and likely won't bring back center Patrick Ewing.

"We didn't make the playoffs. We've got to look at everything," Walker said. "(Payton's) the best asset in the organization. You have to listen to what people offer you for your best asset."

Ewing, 38, made a team-high $14-million this past season and averaged 9.6 points.

"We love Patrick. He was everything we hoped for," Walker said. "Going forward we have to decide if we want cap room or to re-sign Patrick. We'll probably go more with the cap room."

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