6F Savannah Morning News • Saturday, February 5.2000 •
'ii i a nor
2.-' 1 •' .-ol4 11/2
.25 21 .543 41/2
The NBA Thursday's Games
New York 98. Portland 88
Houston 109, Philadelphia 106
$an Antonio 112. Toronto 95
Dallas 106. Charlotte 96
Charlotte at Washington, 7 p.m.
Atlanta at Cleveland. /:30u.m.
Indiana at Orlando, 7:30 p.rn.
Toronto at Milwaukee, 8:30 o.m.
Ho^ton •.'! 25 45." 61-.' Houston 19 28 .404111/2 Milwaukee 102. Utah 99 Minnesota at Denver. 9 p.m.
New 1 ;' 29 ..i/Gl.21/2 Dallas 18 27 .400111/2 Dallas at LA. Clipper's. 10:30 p.m
• Washington 15 32 .319 15 Vancouver 12 32 .273 17 Friday's Games
Boston 100. New Jersey 95 Sunday's Games
Central Division W L Pet GB Pacific Division* W L Pet GB Miami 99. Washington 92 Miami at New York, 1 p.m.
Indiana •JO 15 .667 Portland 35 11 .761 Portland 97, Atlanta 90 Golden State at New Jersey. 1 p.m.
26' 21- 553 5 LA. Lakers 34 11 .756. 1/2 Indiana 104, Sacramento 94 Sacramento at Philadelphia, 3:3Op.m.
24 2i'> 545 51/2 Sacramento 28 17 .622 61/2 Detroit 105, Cleveland 96 San Antonio at Utah, 3:30 p.m.
24 2;.' 545 51/2 Seattle 29 18 .617 61/2 Minnesota 102. Houston 85 Houston at Detroit. 7 p.m.
Detroi.t 23 23 . 0 71/2
50 PhoeViix 26 18 . 9
51 8 Chicago at Vancouver (n) Portland at Boston, 7 p.m.
C'eveiand 19 2f .413111:'2 Golden State 11 32 .256221/2 Phoenix at Seattle (n) Seattle at Phoenix. 8 p.m.
Atljnta 17 27 .'386121/2 L.A. Clippers 11 34 .244231/2 Utah at LA. Lakers (n) Dallas at Vancouver, 9 p.m,
Chicago 9 34 .209 20 Denver at Golden State (n) Chicago at LA. Clippers, 9 p.m.
Smith After... poor start.* Francis.1 now a star.
^™ • . • .. • . • • .
victorious By Bart Hubbuch
The Dallas Morning News . .
in return DALLAS — Before he even took his
first step onto an NBA court, Steve
Francis already was quite an unpopu-
lar young man.
to It wasn't difficult to see why.
Taken No. .2 overall by Vancouver
last June, the speedy point guard
from Maryland seemed to sour just
The Associated Press about everyone — fans, coaches and
executives alike — with his draft-
ATLANTA—Stew Smith, returning night pouting, his criticism of the city
to .the city where he starred for five and, ultimately, the ability to engi-.
years, scored 21 points and the Port- neer his way to Houston as part of. a
land Trail Blazers couldn't miss in the three-team, 11-player, trade.
final five minutes, holding off the The general consensus on Francis:
Atlanta Hawks 97-90 Friday night. Wrto does this kid think he is? Even
After losing in New York the previ- the Rockets themselves had to won-
ous night, Portland jumped to a 14- der if they had acquired a locker-
point lead in the first quarter, then room cancer along with all of those
lookecl sluggish over the next two skills.
periods. Although it's admittedly early,
The Hawks fought back to tie the there seems little reason to wonder or
score six times in the final quarter worry anymore. Francis is still Public
before taking their first and only lead, Hnemy No. 1 in British Columbia, but
78-77, on Dikembe Mutombo's hook he's quickly emerging as a leader and
with 3:47 remaining. a sensational player for the resurgent
But Portland pulled out of its Rockets.
malaise, scoring on 11 of its last 12 Seemingly left for dead after a 10-
possessions to bury Atlanta. Smith 24 start marred by injuries that side-
got loose afong the baseline and lined Charles Barkley and Hakeem
scored a critical basket with 1:23 Olajiiwon, Houston has spent the
remaining, pushing the Blazers to an past month climbing back into the
86,82 lead. race for the eighth and final playoff
spot in the Western Conference.
Heat 99, Wizards 92 .Francis has been by far the biggest
Jc*nBazemore/The Associated-Press reason, averaging 23.1 points, 7.0
MIAMI —Alonzo Mourning scored Hawks center Dikeinbe Mntombo, left, drives into Trail Blazers center Anydas rebounds and 8.8 assists in a recent
22 points in the second half as the Sabonis during the first half Friday in Atlanta, Id-game stretch that included the
Miami Heat overcame a 17-point Rockets' biggest highlight of the sea-,
David J.Prvillip/T.rie Associated Pr(
'hird period deficit and beat the injured Grant Hill, won for just the The Pacers won despite losing All- son — an 89-83, nationally televised
Vashington Wizards. second time in its last 10 games. Star forward Dale Davis to a broken home \1ctory over the Los Angeles Rockets guard Steve Francis (3) averaged 23.1 points, 7.0 rebounds and 8.8
Jdouming paced Miami with 32 CleVeland-played without the injured nose. He had helped limit Chris Web- Lakers on Super Bowl Sunday. assists in a recent 10-game stretch.
points, seven rebounds and seven Bobby Sura, then saw Brevin Knight ber to eight points on 4-of-13 shoot- "Steve is the coach on the floor/" •
blpcked shots. rjamal Mashburn limp off in the second quarter with ing until he caught an inadvertent marveled Olajuwon shortly after he this season has been more incredible the crowded West is in.
scored 22 points, 17 in the first half, what appeared to be an ankle injury. elbow from Nick Anderson with .1:20 returned from missing six weeks than the 25-point, 17-rebound,.14- "Steve's super-talented, but h
.arid Tim Hardaway added 17. left in the half. because of hernia surgery. "He is in assist monster that Francis turned in also very smart," teammate M
Celtics 100, Nets 95 control." . . . '. 10 days ago against Golden State. Bullard sajd.
TSnb«rwo|ves 102, Rockets 85 MAVERICKS WAIVE LEON SMITH This doesn't appear"to be just a hot League officials are. still searching to • "He wants to play the game l
* . -
BOSTON—Kenny Anderson made streak for Francis, either. After a pre- find a rookie who had ever reached right way, which is rare. Most you
; ^INNEAPOLIS - Kevin Garnetfs' a short jumper to give Boston the DALLAS — Leon Smith, the teen- dictably rough initiation, the 6-3, the teens in every category of a triple- players don't want to run the tea
23- points and 18 rebounds and the . lead, then added two free throws Fri- ,age.basketball star whose emotional 1,93-pound dervish has been spectac- double befqre Francis,- and be the general but there. H
absence of Houston's sensational day night as the Celtics beat New Jer- and legal troubles have kept him off ular for much of the past two months His average .numbers for the sea- doing a fantastic job."
rookie guard Steve Francis helped the sey and sent the Nets to their sixth the court, was waived by the Dallas and only appears to be getting better. son are just as impressive: 19 points, Few wtfuld have imagined that 1
Minnesota Timbenvolves rout the consecutive loss, Paul Pierce had 19 Mavericks on Friday. Indeed, Los Angeles Clippers for- five rebounds and s.even assists on 44 recently as last summer, when Frai
Rockets. Gamett added nine assists, .points and Vltaiy Potapenko had 16 Smith, who signed with the Maver- ward Lamar Odbm had better watch percent shooting. No wonder Francis cis was widely chastised for his'sctf.
narrowly missing his third career for the Celtics, who improved to 17-7 icks on Nov. 2, was placed on the out, because the NBA might have a was named NBA Rookie of the Month and petty comments on national 1
triple double. He did, however, tie at home and snapped a two-game team's suspended list Dec. 6. He new leading candidate for Rookie of for December, NBA Player of the upon hearing he had been bypass
Christian Laettner's club record with losing streak. became a free agent Tuesday Without the Year in Francis. . Week in mid-January and selected to by Chicago with the No. 1 pick ai
17 defensive rebounds. playing a single game for the Maver- Odom and, to a lesser extent, the Schick Rookie Game and the taken by the struggling Grizzlies. ,
Pacers 104, Kings 94 icks. He leaves the team with the Chicago's Elton Brand might have the NBA.com Slam Dunk competition at Scouts questioned just how goi
Pistons 105, Cavaliers 96 assurance he'll receive the $1.45 mil- numbers; but no team with a.rookie next weekend's All-Star festivities in Francis could be, considering i
INDIANAPOLIS - Mark Jackson lion guaranteed to him as a first- playing the leading role — especially Oakland, Calif; appeared to be a head case and h
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Lindsey had a triple-double and cold-shoot- round draft pick. If another team at point guard, arguably the toughest It's also little wonder that the Rock- played just one season of major c<
Hj&nter had 26 points and 10 assists ing Reggie Miller hit two key jumpers takes a chance on the 19-year-old for- position to learn in the league — is ets' once-sorry fortunes suddenly lege basketball at Maryland.
tejjlead the Detroit Pistons to a victo- as the Indiana Pacers defeated Sacra- ward, they must fulfill the three-year playing better than Houston at the don't seem so discouraging. Thanks Well, .there's no need to questij
rjpover the Cleveland Cavaliers. mento to tie their franchise record of deal Smith signed. If not, the Maver- moment. to Francis, talk of rebuilding is out; that now. Francis has silenced u
".^Detroit, still playing without the 17 straight home wins, . icks will pay it out over. 10 years, Certainly, no triple-double posted talk of potential playoff matchups in critics — at least of his game. >
'•'*•"" ' ' •--' ' ' " " "
BOATER'S PARADISE, INC,
—- presents — Us, vs. Them game format rekindles interest in the NHLAll-Star Game
PRE SEASON By Alan Robinson the hometown Toronto Maple Leafs America against the World. fans to a sport with a relatively small teams doing well. It probably is l
but enormously loyal fan base. .
The Associated Press' gets free on a breakaway, shifts the Weary of too many uninteresting, players."
puck from his forehand to his back- !()-(> shootouts that mocked what is But even Scotty Bowman, who will Like any All-Star game in any spt
TORONTO — Twenty seconds to hand and ... is stopped cold by goal- supposed to be hockey's mtdseason set what probably is an unbreakable it is the players' show, and the playi
play, the score tied in an up-tempo tender and Toronto teammate Curtis • showcase, the NHL unveiled Its new record by coaching an Ail-Star game are the big reason why the 18,3
but defensively deficient NHL All- Joseph. Us vs. Them — actually, U.S. and in a fifth decade, admits it will be dif- tickets were so difficult to obta
Star game. Suddenly, Mats Sundin of Teammate against teammate? Canada vs. Them — format in 1998. ferent seeing Steve Yzerman and Oven if some big stars are inissi
Mday, Saturday Sunday Friend against friend? Qjuldn'l hap- Hie switch was made not only to Nickjas Udstrom of. his Detroit Red because "of injuries —r Domii
Feb. 4th, 5th, 0 6th pen? appeal to the jingoistic tendencies bf Wings on opposing sides. Hasek, Pierre Tu'rgeon. 1'etcr I'orsbt
9 am-6pm Yes it can, and yes it has, now that players and fans alike, but to aban- Anaheim scoring stars Paul Kariya — there were plenty more to ta
the NHL All-Star game, to be played don the Hast vs. West format that had and Teemu Selanne also will be split their place,
Boater's World Sunday in a long since sold-out Air Increasingly generated games that up. But, for a change, brothers Pavel NHL scoring loader Jaiomir )a
Marine Supply Canada Centre, matches North more resembled home-rim derbies Bure of Florida and Valeri Bure of Cal- the first player to receive more thai
Savannah Crossing than actual athletic contests. gary will find themselves teammates, million votes in the fan ballotii
on Abertorn across from Two games and two North Ameri- if only for a day. almost skipped the1 game to ri
352-1271 can victories later, the jury remains
out on whether the same formula
"It is going to feel kind of strange,
you've got some of your own players
thumb and rib muscle injuries,
But, aware of how many fans wa
Since I93<^ OEICO has been saving that generates big ratings for the on the other team," Bowman said. to see hockeyfc greatest one-on-o
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