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© St. Petersburg Times, published November 3, 2000

Knicks recover from big loss

NEW YORK -- All it took for the Knicks to shake off the embarrassment of their opening-night loss was a visit from the vertically challenged and not-so-talented Hawks.

Glen Rice scored 12 of his 21 points during a fourth-quarter onslaught as the Knicks shook off their 29-point loss of two nights earlier and beat the Hawks 94-69 Thursday night.

"Things happen like that sometimes," Rice said. "The most important thing is we were able to bounce back from such an ugly game."

Rice had a pair of three-pointers, a 20-footer and a driving layup among his fourth-quarter points as New York scored 17 of the first 23 points of the quarter to turn the game into a rout.

It didn't hurt that the Knicks were facing an opponent without much size. Dikembe Mutombo (malaria) and Lorenzen Wright (knee sprain) sat out, leaving the Hawks with a small frontline of Roshown McLeod, Hanno Mottola and Alan Henderson.

Latrell Sprewell, who shot 1-for-9 Tuesday, had 15 points and four assists and Marcus Camby, who was held to 5 points and 4 rebounds against Philadelphia, had 12 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks.

"I took the brunt of the 30-point loss on my shoulders, but that's the way it is around here," Camby said.

Allan Houston also scored 15 and Charlie Ward shot 4-for-4 to finish with 10 points.

"We didn't give enough credit to New York. They're tough," Hawks coach Lon Kruger said.

MAVERICKS 94, PACERS 88: Greg Buckner scored on three straight possessions in the final 2:05 and finished with 13 points as the host Mavericks remain unbeaten.

Howard Eisley, who had 16 points for the Mavericks, sealed the win with five free throws over the final 29.5 seconds.

Steve Nash scored 18 and Michael Finley had 14 to help the Mavericks to their second 2-0 start. Dallas opened the 1997-98 season at 3-0.

NUGGETS 101, WARRIORS 97: Nick Van Exel and George McCloud combined to score 12 of Denver's last 13 points and the Nuggets won their home opener.

Van Exel finished with 23 points, and McCloud and Voshon Lenard added 19 apiece.

Larry Hughes led Golden State with 21 points. Vonteego Cummings had 18, all in the second quarter, and ex-Nugget Danny Fortson had 16 points and 17 rebounds.

SPURS 103, WOLVES 91: Derek Anderson scored 29 points and Tim Duncan added 24 for host San Antonio.

Kevin Garnett had 21 points and 11 rebounds and Terrell Brandon had 19 points for the Timberwolves.

Anderson, who scored 15 points in the third quarter and hit all nine of his free throws in the game, tied the score with 39 seconds left in the third with a pair of jumpers and three consecutive free throws.

San Antonio took the lead for good early in the fourth on Danny Ferry's jumper.

The game was delayed 15 minutes at halftime and slowed throughout because of a leak in the Alamodome roof. Maintenance workers were unable to stop the leak during the game because of a storm with strong winds.

In other news, an arbitrator will decide in the next few days whether commissioner David Stern had the authority to void Joe Smith's previous two contracts with the Timberwolves.

Arbitrator Kenneth Dam presided over an 8 1/2-hour hearing at a Manhattan law office and said he would issue his ruling in a timely manner.

Smith's contract with Minnesota for the current season has been voided, and he is a free agent. But still at issue is whether his contracts for the 1998-99 and 1999-20000 seasons will be reinstated.

ROCKETS 115, BUCKS 87: Walt Williams scored 23 of his 28 points in the first half as the host Rockets survived a third-quarter challenge.

Shandon Anderson added 25 points for Houston. Glenn Robinson led Milwaukee with 24 points, Sam Cassell had 22 and Ray Allen 19.

Houston took a 70-49 halftime lead, but Milwaukee outscored the Rockets 20-8 to cut the lead to 85-74 at the end of the third.

Jason Caffey's basket with 9:32 left pulled Milwaukee to 87-79 before Houston outscored the Bucks 9-2.

SUNS 108, BLAZERS 82: Tony Delk scored 22 in his home debut for Phoenix and Shawn Marion added 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Jason Kidd had 16 points, 12 assists and 7 rebounds. Delk was 5-for-6 from three-point range.

Scottie Pippen played despite a sprained left ankle, an injury that occurred when he stepped on a referee's foot Tuesday. He finished with 10 points in 34 minutes.

MAGIC: Point guard Elliot Perry signed. He played in 60 games last season for the Nets, averaging 5.3 points and 2.3 assists.

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