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Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 22, 2000

O'Neal swears off medicine for pain

ORLANDO -- Shaquille O'Neal vowed to stay away from anti-inflammatory pain medication, saying he is scared by the rumors that Alonzo Mourning's kidney trouble can be linked to it.

In the past, O'Neal took an anti-inflammatory called Indocin almost daily during the season. Most doctors agree that medicine didn't cause Mourning's problem, but that idea has been planted into many players' heads, including O'Neal's.

"Put it this way: I'm scared to take that kidney test that (Mourning) took because I've been taking Indocin ever since 1993," O'Neal said. "For some of us, it may be too late. I'm going to stay off that stuff.

"It's sad. I blame the NBA -- the rigorous schedule and the beating us big guys have to take. You got to take anti-inflammatories. You take too much of that (and) it will mess your kidney up."

BUCKS: Ray Allen is weighing whether to keep his personal bodyguard.

His hope is that the Bucks hire his bodyguard and that Milwaukee, as well as every NBA team, beefs up security.

"The teams need to address that," Allen said. "I know more and more guys are thinking about it. There are times when we're on the road where we have nothing but ourselves. Who knows what can happen?"

KNICKS: Coach Jeff Van Gundy said he will reconsider his decision to use Latrell Sprewell as a part-time point guard if Sprewell continues to struggle offensively.

"I think it's something that I have to evaluate," Van Gundy said after Friday's 96-90 loss to Utah.

Sprewell shot 1-for-9 against the Jazz, scoring two points with four assists and three turnovers in 32 minutes.

"Certainly, you don't want to take somebody at what they're good at and take them out of it," Van Gundy said. "You have to evaluate over time if it's good for the team."

Van Gundy is using the preseason to experiment with Sprewell occasionally running the point in a lineup that features Allan Houston at shooting guard and Glen Rice at small forward. The goal is to get the Knicks' best three perimeter players on the floor at the same time. However, injuries have prevented that group from developing cohesion.

MAVERICKS: Ace Custis, Mike Jones and Jamal Kendrick were waived.

PACERS: Veteran guards Rex Walters and Mitchell Butler were waived. Both signed as free agents in the off-season.

76ERS: Guard Allen Iverson was not expected to miss playing time because of a mild ankle sprain.

Iverson, who injured his left ankle in the 76ers' 117-97 exhibition victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday night, was examined by team physician Dr. Jack McPhillemy on Saturday.

Iverson was listed as probable for today's game against Utah.

TRAIL BLAZERS: Scottie Pippen, 35, spoke openly about retirement for the first time.

"I'm winding down, I think," he said. "I'll make that decision a little later. But I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It depends what kind of season we have, whether it's a good season, a great season or a bad season. It's a hard decision."

Pippen has four years and $52-million ($16.4-million this season) remaining on his contract.

"This game has been great to me," he said. "I don't want to start talking about retirement. It does cross my mind."

Preseason games

HORNETS 91, RAPTORS 66: Baron Davis scored 17 points and four other Hornets scored in double figures for visiting Charlotte.

P.J. Brown and Davis each scored nine points as Charlotte went on a 26-5 run and outscored Toronto 33-12 in the third quarter.

Toronto's Vince Carter made 5 of 23 shots, finishing with a team-best 13 points.

CELTICS 101, WIZARDS 100 (OT): Corey Blount hit two free throws with 17.7 seconds left and Boston rebounded after blowing a 13-point fourth-quarter lead at Richmond, Va.

The Celtics led 77-64 after newly acquired Bryant Stith's three-point play with 9:36 left. But the Wizards drew even at 91 when Michael Smith tipped in Richard Hamilton's miss at the buzzer.

Hamilton finished with 19 points, and Juwan Howard had 21 for Washington.

The Celtics were led by Antoine Walker with 28 points.

SPURS 101, ROCKETS 98: Tim Duncan scored 25 points and Danny Ferry hit two clutch free throws with 7.5 seconds left for visiting San Antonio. Cuttino Mobley scored 25 points for Houston.

BUCKS 110, HAWKS 86: Lindsey Hunter and Ray Allen scored 22 points apiece for host Milwaukee. Atlanta had just eight players available for the game, its fifth straight preseason loss.

Dikembe Mutombo, who has a mild case of malaria, and Roshown McLeod, whose mother died, missed the game along with five injured players. Jim Jackson had 22 points for the Hawks.

Glenn Robinson scored 14 points for Milwaukee after missing the past four games with a sore left knee. Scott Williams played for the first time in the preseason and had five rebounds after missing four games with back spasms.

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