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Nuggets Rise to Occasion and Knock Off the Magic

From Associated Press

If this wasn’t the Denver Nuggets’ finest moment of the season, it was a close second, exceeded perhaps only by a victory over Chicago last month.

And it had every right to be a disaster.

About 90 minutes after learning their leading scorer, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, had been suspended by the NBA for refusing to stand during the national anthem, the Nuggets dismantled the Orlando Magic, 110-93, Tuesday night.

Bryant Stith scored 23 points and rookie Antonio McDyess 19 as Denver knocked off the cold-shooting Magic.

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“It was a distraction, but we just came out ready to play,” McDyess said of Abdul-Rauf’s suspension.

Denver outscored Orlando, 30-16, in the third quarter, opening as much as a 21-point lead, and the Magic got no closer than 11 points.

Anfernee Hardaway and Nick Anderson led Orlando with 21 points each.

OTHER GAMES

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Charles Barkley had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Phoenix Suns in a 98-88 victory over the New Jersey Nets at East Rutherford, N.J. . . . Alonzo Mourning scored 40 points for the Miami Heat in a 125-118 victory over the Dallas Mavericks at Dallas. . . . Jerry Stackhouse scored 34 points as the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Toronto Raptors, 118-110, at Philadelphia. . . . Mookie Blaylock had 23 points in the Atlanta Hawks’ 115-89 rout of the Utah Jazz at Atlanta. . . . David Robinson scored 20 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 106-98 victory over the Golden State Warriors at Oakland.

NBA Notes

Chicago Coach Phil Jackson said he will give Scottie Pippen a few days rest in practice to see if that helps an ailing back. . . . The NBA filed an unfair labor practice charge against the players’ union and a federal lawsuit against the union and some agents, accusing them of trying to interfere with the new collective bargaining agreement.


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