Monday, February 18, 2002

Skiles steps down, Phoenix still loses


Portland ends L.A.'s 5-game streak on road

The Associated Press

        PHOENIX — Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki sparked a 21-0 run in the first half as the Dallas Mavericks beat the Phoenix Suns 105-92 Sunday night, spoiling Frank Johnson's coaching debut.

        Johnson, a former Suns' assistant and player, replaced Scott Skiles earlier in the day. Skiles said he and Suns management agreed it was in the best interests of the team if they parted ways.

        Skiles, the NBA's second-youngest coach at 37, became the team's coach 20 games into the 1999-2000 season, replacing Danny Ainge.

        Johnson's first move paid immediate dividends. Johnson sat Stephon Marbury, the team's high scorer, and gave Tony Delk his first start of the season.

        Delk responded with 12 points in the first quarter, including three 3-pointers, and finished with 26.

Trail Blazers 111, Lakers 105

               PORTLAND, Ore. — Bonzi Wells scored 27 points and had 10 rebounds and Rasheed Wallace added 25 points for Portland.

        The Lakers, playing without injured center Shaquille O'Neal, had their five-game road winning streak stopped.

        Leading 89-87 with 6:54 left, the Blazers went on an 11-4 run to take a nine-point advantage, their largest of the game.

        Portland opened the second half with a 9-0 burst for a 63-56 edge. The Lakers didn't score until 4:23 into the third period.
       

Jazz 92, Knicks 89

               NEW YORK — Kicked out of Salt Lake City for most of this month because of the Olympics, Utah is hitting its stride.

        Karl Malone had 27 points and 16 rebounds, rookie Jarron Collins scored 19 and Utah closed the game with a 16-5 run. The Jazz played the sixth in a string of nine consecutive road games and won for the fourth straight time.
       

Timberwolves 93, Heat 80

               MINNEAPOLIS — Chauncey Billups scored 23 points and had eight assists and Wally Szczerbiak had 22 points for Minnesota.

        Billups, in his third start since the team learned it would be without Terrell Brandon for the rest of the season, bounced back from a 3-for-12 performance on Friday and went 10-for-17.

Nets 98, Nuggets 77

               EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — A sore-armed Kenyon Martin had three big dunks in a game-deciding third quarter for New Jersey.

        Martin, whose bruised right forearm had him questionable until 30 minutes before gametime, had nine of his 15 points in the quarter that allowed New Jersey to avenge a loss to Denver on Nov.25.

        It marked the seventh time this season the Eastern Conference-leading Nets have beaten a team that beat them earlier this season.
       

Bucks 91, Raptors 86

               TORONTO — Sam Cassell and Ray Allen each had 20 points as Milwaukee ended a three-game losing streak.

        Cassell, who missed the previous two games with a sprained left big toe, scored eight points in the fourth quarter.
       

Pacers 86, 76ers 76

               INDIANAPOLIS — Jalen Rose scored 12 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and Jermaine O'Neal added 15 to lead Indiana over Philadelphia, which played without an injured Allen Iverson.

        Iverson, the NBA's leading scorer, missed the game with a sprained right big toe.
       

Grizzlies 92, Hornets 78

               CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Shane Battier and Jason Williams each scored 17 points apiece as Memphis snapped an eight-game road losing streak.

       



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- Skiles steps down, Phoenix still loses
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