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Pro basketball briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 25, 2001


Orlando tops turnover-plagued Washington

ORLANDO -- Nykesha Sales had 20 points, and Taj McWilliams-Franklin added 13 points and 13 rebounds as the Miracle beat the Washington Mystics 71-63 Tuesday.

The Mystics committed 25 turnovers which Orlando converted into 26 points.

Washington used a 13-2 run to make it 53-46 with a little more than nine minutes to play. The Mystics cut the deficit to seven points twice more but couldn't get any closer.

Vicky Bullett led Washington with 14 points, and Chamique Holdsclaw added 13.

McWilliams-Franklin's double double was her seventh this season.

CHARLOTTE 75, INDIANA 66: Dawn Staley had six of her 18 points during a key 11-0 spurt for the host Sting.

Charlotte kept its hold on the East's final playoff spot. Indiana fell three games behind the Sting.

UTAH 76, HOUSTON 67: Marie Ferdinand had 16 points to lead the host Starzz.

Utah is tied with Portland for the West's final playoff spot.

NBA

PISTONS: The team re-signed forward Corliss Williamson and agreed to terms with two 7-footers from Yugoslavia, Zeljko Rebraca and Ratko Varda. No terms were given for any of the deals.

BLAZERS: The team is nearing a deal to send veteran guard Steve Smith to the Spurs for free agent Derek Anderson. The sign-and-trade deal could be completed today, according to Anderson's agent, Tony Dutt.

"It's real close," Dutt said.

The Spurs also will send veteran guard Steve Kerr to Portland.

Neither team would confirm the deal Tuesday night.

BULLS: Point guard Jamal Crawford will miss the season because of a torn ACL.

Crawford was injured while playing a pickup game. He will have surgery in 2-4 weeks.

CAVALIERS: Ron Ekker, who spent the past 10 years as a scout and assistant coach with Dallas, was hired as an assistant under coach John Lucas.

RAPTORS: First-round draft pick Michael Bradley, a forward from Villanova, signed and will get a guaranteed three-year contract worth about $3.02-million.

BOL SEEKS U.S. RETURN: Manute Bol, the NBA record-holder for blocks in a rookie year, has slipped out of Sudan and is seeking a visa to return to America.

Bol and his family had been trying for eight months to leave his native Sudan, the scene of an 18-year civil war.

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