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Basketball briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 11, 2001

Miracle loses by 2 to Miami in overtime

ORLANDO -- Sheri Sam tied her franchise record with 26 points, and Sandy Brondello hit a jumper with 1.1 seconds left in overtime as Miami beat the Miracle 65-63 Tuesday night.

Brondello took a pass with 7.5 seconds remaining, drove the left sideline, curled at the baseline and drilled an 8-footer for her only second-half points. She finished with eight points.

Miami won for the first time in four overtime games this season.

Sam, who matched her career high set at Charlotte last season, had 17 points in the first half. Her two free throws with 3:05 left in overtime tied the score at 61.

Elena Baranova had 14 points, 7 rebounds, 5 blocked shots and 5 assists. Her layup off a feed from Brondello tied the score at 63 with 20.1 seconds left.

Orlando almost sent the game into a second extra period, but a three-point attempt by Shannon Johnson from the right wing was long and right. Johnson and Nykesha Sales each had 15 points.

The Miracle sent the game into overtime by rallying from a 59-51 deficit in the final 2:27. Elaine Powell's three-point play started the comeback, and Sales' baseline jumper tied it with 1:15 remaining. In between, Johnson hit three of four free throws.

Orlando played without guard Katie Douglas, who separated a shoulder in a victory against Detroit on Sunday. She is expected to miss at least two weeks.

CLEVELAND 59, SEATTLE 53: Helen Darling scored all her seven points in the final three minutes to lead the Rockers to their 12th consecutive home win.

Darling hit a three-pointer to give Cleveland a 51-48 lead with 2:30 left. The Rockers moved into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with New York at 13-5.

MINNESOTA 73, PORTLAND 52: Katie Smith scored 28 points as the host Lynx snapped a five-game losing streak.

Smith, who scored a league-record 46 points in an overtime loss to Los Angeles on Sunday, scored five points in the first half.

In the second half, Smith, the league's leading scorer, hit three consecutive three-pointers in a 16-4 run that turned a tie at 35 into a 51-39 lead.

WASHINGTON: Forward Chamique Holdsclaw will miss at least two weeks, including the All-Star Game, with a right foot injury.


CELTICS: First-round draft picks Joe Johnson, Kedrick Brown and Joseph Forte signed. Under the rookie wage scale, Johnson received a three-year deal worth within 20 percent of $4.3-million. Brown's three-year deal is worth within 20 percent of $4-million. Forte's wage-scale deal is for within 20 percent of $2.5-million over three years.

GRIZZLIES: The team signed Shane Battier, the first senior taken in the draft, his agent, Lon Babby, said. Battier will get about $6-million over his first three seasons.

HORNETS: First-round draft pick Kirk Haston, selected 16th overall out of Indiana, signed a $3.2-million, three-year contract.

JAZZ: DeShawn Stevenson, who pleaded innocent last week to a statutory rape charge in California, was among 17 players listed on the team's summer camp roster.

PISTONS: Rodney White, the team's first-round draft pick, will miss this week's rookie free-agent camp with a bruised left shoulder. White, hurt in a collision with 7-foot-1, 260-pound center Ratko Varda during a scrimmage, needs a week's rest before returning to off-season workouts, the team said.

ROCKETS: Forward Kenny Thomas will miss the Los Angeles Summer Pro League after being bitten in the face by a dog owned by assistant coach Jim Boylen. Thomas was greeting Boylen at the airport before the team's flight to Los Angeles on Monday when the dog bit Thomas on the lip. Thomas was hospitalized for minor plastic surgery and will be sidelined for three weeks.

76ERS: Dikembe Mutombo and the team reached a tentative agreement on a new contract, the Associated Press reported. Under NBA rules, teams cannot sign free agents until July 18, but Mutombo and the 76ers agreed to terms Monday, according to the report. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the agreement is believed to be a five-year deal worth more than $13-million per season, with a 12.5 percent annual raise and a 15 percent trade kicker. Neither Mutombo nor his agent, David Falk, could be reached for comment by the Associated Press. ... Lon Babby, Christian Laettner's attorney, confirmed that the 76ers "have expressed serious interest" in Laettner, a veteran free agent who finished the season with the Wizards.

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