Short-Handed Kings Can't Beat Heat

From Associated Press

With their two centers serving one-game suspensions, the Sacramento Kings had little defense for Miami's Anthony Mason and Brian Grant.

Mason, returning from a one-game banishment, had 25 points and 13 rebounds and Grant added 23 as the Heat defeated the short-handed Kings, 114-104, Wednesday night at Miami.

The victory snapped Sacramento's five-game winning streak. The Kings were without Bobby Jackson, Vlade Divac, Scot Pollard and Art Long, who served one-game suspensions for their roles in a fight Tuesday night at Orlando.

"We were really overmatched," King Coach Rick Adelman said.

"I think they missed Bobby Jackson the most," Heat Coach Pat Riley said. "He really disrupts with his full-court pressure. He's tough as nails. Then not having their two bangers inside, Divac and Pollard, leveled their game."

Mason was sent home early from Minneapolis by Riley on Monday after showing up late for a mandatory team meeting Sunday night. Mason was not suspended, but Riley fined him $250.

The 6-foot-8 forward refused to talk about the early trip back to Miami, saying only: "God has a strange way of getting his soldiers some rest."

The rest appeared to do him some good.

Mason shot 12 of 21 and added four assists and a block.

"I just wanted to come back and get a victory, no matter who we're playing and not miss a step," Mason said.

Tim Hardaway emerged from a shooting slump to score 20 points and seldom-used Cedric Ceballos provided a spark off the bench, adding a season-high 21 points and 11 rebounds.

The Heat trailed, 40-23, in the second quarter but used a 17-0 run to even the score. Mason and Ceballos scored six points each in the spurt and Hardaway added the other five.

"This team has a habit when our backs are against the wall of coming out like we're fighting for food or something," Mason said. "We have to come out like we're starving every night."

Chris Webber led the Kings with 26 points and 17 rebounds and Doug Christie added 24 points.

Phoenix 84, Portland 79--Shawn Marion had 26 points and 13 rebounds as the Suns took advantage of the Trail Blazers' sloppiness down the stretch at Portland, Ore., to hand them their fifth consecutive loss.

Rasheed Wallace had 29 points and 11 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who ruined a chance for a thrilling victory by committing five turnovers on their last six possessions.

San Antonio 106, Minnesota 100--Derek Anderson scored a season-high 30 points to lead the Spurs to their eighth consecutive victory, an overtime win over the Timberwolves at San Antonio.

Tim Duncan backed Anderson with 23 points and 20 rebounds, while David Robinson scored 18 and Danny Ferry 12.

Utah 102, Golden State 83--Bryon Russell had 18 points and Donyell Marshall had 15 points and 14 rebounds at Oakland.

Karl Malone scored 16 points, and the Jazz got big contributions from its reserves in beating Golden State for the 18th time in 19 meetings.

Philadelphia 85, Chicago 67--Dikembe Mutombo led Philadelphia with 15 points and 12 rebounds at Chicago as the 76ers, playing without Allen Iverson, routed the injury-depleted Bulls.

Iverson, the NBA's scoring leader, sat out because of a left hip pointer. The Bulls played most of the game without Elton Brand (strained quad tendon) and all of it without starters Ron Artest and Bryce Drew.

Orlando 97, Cleveland 87--Pat Garrity scored 13 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter at Cleveland and the Magic survived without leading scorer Tracy McGrady.

Garrity made four three-pointers and finished seven for 10 from the floor in 19 minutes for the Magic, which learned two hours before tipoff that it wouldn't have McGrady, its star player, who was suspended for an incident in the previous game against Sacramento.

Denver 95, Indiana 83--Nick Van Exel scored 18 of his season-high 37 points in the third quarter at Denver, capping it with a spinning 30-footer, and Raef LaFrentz had 22 points and 14 rebounds to help the Nuggets end a six-year, 10-game losing streak to Indiana.

Charlotte 100, Vancouver 95--Jamal Mashburn scored 23 points and David Wesley had 20 to lead six Hornet players in double figures at Charlotte, N.C. Shareef Abdur-Rahim paced the Grizzlies with 23 points, followed by Mike Bibby with 22 and Michael Dickerson with 20.

Washington 103, Detroit 96--Richard Hamilton scored a career-high 40 points at Washington to make up for the absence of Mitch Richmond, who sat out because of a sprained right knee. Jerry Stackhouse scored 38 points for Detroit.

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