Sunday, March 31, 2002

Back from suspension, Martin draws attention

Has 18 points as Nets topple 76ers 102-92

The Associated Press

        EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — All eyes and a few extra cameras watched Kenyon Martin return to the New Jersey Nets Saturday after his fifth flagrant foul-related suspension this season.

        After a mellow opening half, Martin put on a show in the Nets' 102-92 victory over Philadelphia.

        Martin scored 18 points, did some yapping after two third-quarter dunks, hit a 3-pointer with 4:35 to play and leveled Philadelphia forward Matt Harpring with a wall-like pick in the final minutes. His memorable return was chronicled by an ESPN crew.

        “Everybody made it a big deal and focused on him,” said Nets point guard Jason Kidd, who had 19 points and 17 assists. “I thought he played well for being away from the game for a week.”

        Martin has missed seven games because of suspensions related to flagrant fouls this season and has lost more than $347,000 in salary and fines.

        But Martin says he won't change his physical style.

        “I got to play,” Martin said after Saturday's game. “If I am going to think about it, I might as well not play. I'm aware of what I can't do.”

        The Nets extended their franchise-record home winning streak to 11 games.

        Derrick Coleman had 23 points for the 76ers.

        Suns 90, Rockets 88

        HOUSTON — Shawn Marion had 26 points, including two free throws with five seconds to play that clinched the win for Phoenix.

        Steve Francis led Houston with 28 points.

        Nuggets 100, Bulls 84

        CHICAGO — Juwan Howard scored 23 points, and reserve Zendon Hamilton added a career-high 20 for Denver.

        Jamal Crawford had 16 points to lead Chicago.

        Grizzlies 105, Warriors 99

        MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Pau Gasol had 26 points and 12 rebounds and Jason Williams added 22 points and a franchise-record 19 assists to lead Memphis. Gasol was 12-of-18 from the field.

        Bob Sura scored 18 points for Golden State.

        Hornets 93, Cavaliers 85

        CLEVELAND — Baron Davis had 20 points and 17 assists to spark Charlotte, which won for the eighth time in nine games and moved into a tie with Philadelphia for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

        Ricky Davis scored 22 points for Cleveland.

        WARRIORS: Forward Danny Fortson was suspended for two games without pay by the NBA because of his flagrant at Detroit Friday night.

        Fortson, who fouled the Pistons' Ben Wallace in the third quarter of the Warriors' 110-103 loss, has eight flagrant-foul penalty points this season, three more than allowed.

        He will receive an automatic two-game suspension for each additional flagrant foul this season.

        Fortson, who is third in the league in rebounding with an average of 12 a game, was to sit out Saturday's game at Memphis and Monday's game against Portland.

        CAVALIERS: Tyrone Hill, who has a sinus infection, did not make the team's current three-game road trip. But Cleveland coach John Lucas doubted the seriousness of the illness and wanted the forward with the team for the trip.

        “We have a problem right now, that's all I'll say,” Lucas said of his relationship with Hill.


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