Artest's Antics Fuel Indiana Win

From Associated Press

Pat Riley's face was still red 10 minutes after his team's latest loss, and no wonder. He had just endured two confrontations with tempestuous Ron Artest and another fourth-quarter collapse by the Miami Heat.

Reggie Miller made a three-point shot with 1 minute 10 seconds remaining to put the Indiana Pacers ahead to stay, then added a layup with 41 seconds left in a 102-95 victory Monday at Miami.

The Heat lost after leading at the start of the fourth quarter for the eighth time, which left Riley fuming. He was also angry about Artest, who made an obscene gesture from center court as the Pacers rallied in the final period.

Artest twice initiated testy exchanges with Riley in front of the Heat bench. The second time, Riley pushed Artest away.

"The league ought to deal with that," Riley said. "That's crazy. I scream like crazy at officials and my players. I never, ever have talked to an opposing player, and I don't want anybody talking to me or coming over to my bench....

"That's who he is. He has got to get that under control."

Artest scored 18 points for the Pacers, who came from nine points down in the second half and won for the fourth consecutive time.

"Coach Riley was into it," Artest said. "Their bench was into it. We were into it. That's how it's supposed to be."

Washington 98, Phoenix 93 -- Jerry Stackhouse scored 33 points, and his blocked shot on Scott Williams' dunk attempt with 35 seconds remaining also helped the Wizards hang on to win at Washington. Stackhouse made four of four free throws in the final minute and scored 10 of Washington's final 15 points.

Houston 100, Memphis 95 -- Yao Ming had 13 points and 10 rebounds in 29 minutes and Steve Francis scored 22 points to help the Rockets win at Memphis, Tenn., and end a four-game losing streak. Yao and Francis made two free throws each in the final 20 seconds.

Minnesota 106, San Antonio 95 -- Kevin Garnett tied his season high with 34 points, making 14 of 19 shots, to help the Timberwolves win at Minneapolis for their sixth consecutive victory.

Milwaukee 108, New Orleans 93 -- The Bucks hit 13 three-point shots, making 50% of their attempts from beyond the arc, to win at New Orleans and post their sixth consecutive road victory.

New Jersey 92, Denver 66 -- Richard Jefferson scored 23 points as the Nets won at Denver to hand the team with the NBA's second-worst record its fifth consecutive loss.

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