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NBA briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 28, 2001


Hornets sweep Heat

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jamal Mashburn got the best of his former team, scoring 21 as the headband-wearing Hornets beat the Miami Heat 94-79 to complete a stunning three-game sweep.

Baron Davis also scored 21 in front of a raucous home crowd, and Miami was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the fourth time in Pat Riley's six years as the Heat's coach.

Charlotte won this series' three games by a total of 67 points.

Mashburn, traded from Miami to Charlotte in a nine-player off-season deal, averaged 23.6 points in the series to carry the Hornets into the second round of the playoffs for the third time. They've never been to the Eastern Conference final.

It was sweet redemption for Mashburn, who took much of the blame for Miami's past playoff failures.

The Hornets, who wore headbands throughout the series to show team unity, collected their first playoff series sweep. They took a double-digit lead early in the second quarter Friday, built it to 27 at halftime and didn't let Miami back into the game.

Former Hornets player Eddie Jones, booed every time he touched the ball, led Miami with 22 points.

Tim Hardaway, ineffective in the first two games because of a bruised left foot, didn't play for Miami. The Heat used a combination of Anthony Carter and rookie Eddie House in his place.

Alonzo Mourning, playing in his 16th game after missing most of the season with kidney disease, had 12 points and nine rebounds for Miami.

CAVALIERS: The team, which fired coach Randy Wittman just hours after the season ended, received permission to talk to Nuggets assistant coach John Lucas about the vacancy. Nuggets spokesman Tommy Shepherd confirmed that Cleveland general manager Jim Paxson asked to talk to Lucas about the Cavs' job.

JAZZ: Guard John Starks missed Friday's practice and won't make the trip to Dallas for Game 3 of the team's playoff series with the Mavericks today. Starks, 35, is recovering from surgery to remove a twisted testicle.

KNICKS: One day after playing 31 of the most unproductive minutes of his career, Marcus Camby missed practice for personal reasons. His status for New York's Game 3 Sunday against Toronto is uncertain. Camby had a poor game Thursday night, three days after his mother and two sisters were held hostage at their home in Connecticut. Meanwhile, forward Glen Rice met with coach Jeff Van Gundy and said he'd like a bigger role in the offense.

Rice played 25 minutes Thursday night and took just eight shots, going 2-for-2 from three-point range and scoring 12 points. He played 18 minutes in Game 1, shooting 2-for-6 and scoring seven points.

"This time is too important. Once I'm on the floor, use me to the fullest," Rice said, choosing his words carefully but making it clear he was not satisfied with his limited role.

ROCKETS: A TV ad showing guard Steve Francis leaping over a car was pulled by Reebok International Inc. after a Kentucky teen was hurt trying a similar stunt.

SUNS: Six players are helping make sure the team plays in front of sellout crowds at home in its first-round playoff series against Sacramento. The players have purchased about 4,000 tickets for Game 3 Sunday and Game 4 Wednesday and will distribute them to disadvantaged youngsters through area charities.

TRAIL BLAZERS: The NBA fined and suspended forwards Dale Davis and Stacy Augmon for their actions in Thursday's playoff loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Davis was suspended one game and fined $15,000 for intentionally elbowing Robert Horry in the throat during the fourth quarter of Portland's 106-88 Game 2 loss at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. He was ejected for a flagrant foul.

Augmon was suspended one game and fined $5,000 for leaving Hhe bench at the time of the elbowing incident. In addition, the Trail Blazers were fined $5,000 for having a player leave the bench in an altercation. Portland had five technicals and one flagrant foul in the fourth quarter. Both players will sit out Sunday's Game 3 at the Rose Garden in Portland. The Lakers lead the best-of-five series 2-0.

DRAFT: Cincinnati point guard Kenny Satterfield is giving up his final two years of eligibility to enter the draft.

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