Fri, Mar 07, 2003 - Page 24 News List

Yao, Kobe wow fans in Canada, LA

NBA In what was the biggest media turnout for Yao Ming in any NBA city, Toronto welcomed the Chinese star, while LA's Kobe Bryant became the youngest player to reach 10,000 career points

AP , TORONTO

Los Angeles Lakers' Shaquille O'Neal, left, and Indiana Pacers' Jermaine O'Neal eye a rebound in the first half in Los Angeles, on Thursday. The Lakers won 97-95.

PHOTO: AFP

Chinese rookie Yao Ming scored 13 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter as the Houston Rockets ended a four-game losing skid with a 97-95 win over the Toronto Raptors.

Yao also grabbed nine rebounds before a crowd filled with fans from Toronto's Chinese community. He attracted approximately 50 media members from the city's Asian television, radio and newspaper outlets. A Rockets spokesman said it was by far the biggest media turnout for Yao in any NBA city.

Steve Francis added 19 points for Houston. Yao shot 9-for-17 from the field.

Vince Carter scored 21 points for Toronto.

Lakers 97, Pacers 95

In Los Angeles, Robery Horry hit a 6m jump shot at the final buzzer to give the Lakers a win over Indiana on a night when Kobe Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 10,000 career points.

Bryant scored 20, Shaquille O'Neal had 26 points and coach Phil Jackson returned to the bench after a three-game absence.

After the Pacers overcame a 17-point third-quarter deficit and went up 95-91 with 1:11 left, Derek Fisher scored twice on drives before Horry won it.

Bryant saw his streak of 16 consecutive games with 30 or more points come to an end.

Wizards 99, Clippers 80

In Washington, Michael Jordan played just 24 minutes one night after a bout of back spasms as all five Washington starters scored double figures to rout the Los Angeles Clippers.

A day of rest, massage and electrolysis got Jordan ready to play, plus the motivation that the Wizards had lost back-to-back games to losing teams to fall into ninth place in the Eastern Conference. But the Wizards didn't need a single point from him in the 26-8 third quarter that decided the game.

Moving gingerly and grimacing at times, Jordan finished with 10 points on 4-for-14 shooting with nine rebounds. He sat out for good with 3:05 remaining in the third quarter with the Wizards leading 68-49.

Jerry Stackhouse and Larry Hughes had 20 points each for the Wizards. Corey Maggette scored 14 for the Clippers, who have lost seven straight games and are 0-2 under new coach Dennis Johnson.

Celtics 97, Knicks 95

In Boston, Antoine Walker scored 34 points and Tony Battie blocked the potential game-tying shot in the final seconds as Boston beat the Knicks for the eighth consecutive time.

The Celtics took a two-point lead when Battie hit one of two free throws in the final 12.8 seconds. Howard Eisley drove the lane and passed out to Latrell Sprewell, who fired up an airball from 3-point range.

Clarence Weatherspoon made a great effort to grab the rebound over Battie, but when he put up the potential game-tying shot, Battie swatted it away with his left hand.

Paul Pierce scored 24 with eight rebounds for Boston, which has swept the Knicks in consecutive seasons for the first time since they won 19 straight from 1965-67.

Magic 111, Bucks 99

In Orlando, Florida, Tracy McGrady scored 48 points as Orlando beat Milwaukee won for the seventh time in eight games.

Hawks 111, Cavaliers 105

In Cleveland, Jason Terry scored 24 points with a career-high 14 assists and Dion Glover made a key steal in the final two minutes as Atlanta beat Cleveland.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Glenn Robinson added 23 points each for the Hawks, who struggled to defeat the lowly Cavs.

Grizzlies 96, Nuggets 86

In Memphis, Tennessee, Stromile Swift scored a season-high 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Memphis sent Denver to their 14th consecutive loss.

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