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Pro basketball briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 22, 2001

Hill to skip Duke charity game

ORLANDO -- Grant Hill won't play in a charity game this weekend, Magic officials said Tuesday.

Hill's first public competition since ankle surgery in January was to be the inaugural Duke Basketball All-Star Charity Game on Saturday.

But Magic general manager John Gabriel said Hill's "return to professional basketball should come within the context of his current rehabilitation and on-the-floor regimen."

"With all due respect to the Duke charity game, our season and Grant's return to his All-Star level is more important at this time," Gabriel said.

The six-time All-Star will take part in the activities surrounding the game in Durham, N.C.

BLAZERS: Rookie Zach Randolph signed a three-year contract.

The 6-foot-9 forward, who left Michigan State after his freshman season, will get $2.693-million under the NBA's rookie salary scale.

KNICKS: The team has three quality point guards on the roster. That's one too many, said Mark Jackson, who finished last season as the starter.

"Something probably has to be done," said Jackson, who appeared at a news conference at Madison Square Garden to promote a game that will benefit Wheelchair Charities, Inc. "I'd be shocked if three guys play."

Last week, the Knicks traded swingman Glen Rice to the Rockets for forward Shandon Anderson and Howard Eisley, creating a logjam.

The Knicks also have veteran Charlie Ward, who began last season as the starter and went to the bench when New York acquired Jackson from the Raptors at the trade deadline.


NEW YORK 72, MIAMI 61: Vickie Johnson scored 22 and the Liberty advanced to its third consecutive appearance in the Eastern Conference final.

Crystal Robinson added 16 points for New York, which faces Charlotte in the conference final beginning Friday.

The Liberty, the two-time defending conference champion, shot 46 percent from the field against the defense-oriented Sol.

Elena Baranova and Sandy Brondello scored 18 each for Miami, an expansion team last season.

Tamika Whitmore added eight points and six rebounds for New York, which who improved to 14-4 at Madison Square Garden.

PHOENIX: Playboy magazine would not match Lisa Harrison's asking price. So the Mercury forward decided not to pose for the magazine.

"It came down to the money issue," Harrison said. "They didn't meet what I asked for. We went back and forth a few times as far as the money, but they never reached what I was asking for."

Harrison was offered the chance to pose in the magazine when she won Playboy's "Sexiest Babe in the WNBA" contest this summer.

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