Thu, Dec 15, 2005 - Page 20 News List

Riley holds Heat's reins in Chicago

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION Miami Heat President Pat Riley got back to coaching once again after Stan Van Gundy resigned amid a sluggish start


Heat head coach Pat Riley shouts instructions to his team during the first quarter in a game against the Bulls at the United Center in Chicago on Tuesday.


Pat Riley's second tenure as Miami Heat coach got off to a successful start Tuesday, getting 30 points from Shaquille O'Neal in a 100-97 victory over the Chicago Bulls.

Riley, the team president, stepped back into his old job on Monday, when Stan Van Gundy resigned. He saw a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter dwindle to two, then watched a 3-pointer by Chicago's Luol Deng clang off the rim as time expired.

O'Neal made his first start in his second game back for Miami since spraining his right ankle -- an injury that knocked him out of 18 games. Dwyane Wade and Antoine Walker scored 14 apiece.

Kirk Hinrich led the Bulls with 26 points, and Darius Songaila added a season-high 19. Chicago's Ben Gordon scored nine points in 25 minutes after missing two games with a sprained right knee.

But Riley was the star on this night.

He patrolled the sideline in a black jacket, crisp white collared shirt, cranberry tie and gray pants. His hair was combed back, as usual, although slightly faded since his first tenure.

Hawks 100, Cavaliers 94

At Cleveland, Al Harrington scored 20 points and Tyronn Lue had a season-high 19 as Atlanta won just its second road game, surprising sluggish Cleveland .

Joe Johnson added 18 for the Hawks, who came in an NBA-worst 3-16 overall and only 1-10 outside Atlanta, but followed up their win on Saturday over the defending champion San Antonio Spurs with another nice all-around effort.

The same can't be said of the Cavaliers, who have dropped seven of nine following a 9-2 start. LeBron James scored 39 points with 10 rebounds and six assists for Cleveland, which was without injured All-Star center Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

Wizards 94, Nets 74

At Washington, Chucky Atkins had 12 points and nine assists filling in for injured All-Star Gilbert Arenas and Jarvis Hayes scored 19 points to lead Washington to a victory over New Jersey.

The Wizards never trailed as they won their final game before starting a five-game, West Coast road trip.

Hayes finished 7-for-12 from the field, including 4-for-5 from 3-point range. Antawn Jamison had 12 points and eight rebounds, Etan Thomas scored 12 and Caron Butler added 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Arenas, who leads the Wizards in scoring and assists, sat out for the first time this season with a bruised his back.

Vince Carter, who started 0-for-6, scored 14 points, Richard Jefferson scored 13, and Jason Kidd had 12 for the Nets.

Spurs 95, Clippers 87, OT

At San Antonio, Tim Duncan hit two free throws with 12 seconds left to send the game into overtime and then led San Antonio past the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Spurs climbed back from deficits as large as eight against the Pacific Division's leader, outscoring the Clippers 11-3 in overtime.

Michael Finley, filling in for an injured Manu Ginobili, had 21 points and 10 rebounds, both season highs. Finley had seven points in overtime, including two free throws with 28.7 left to seal the win.

He had 27 points and 22 rebounds and five assists and Tony Parker had 25 points and seven assists.

The Clippers were led by Elton Brand with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Sam Cassell had 20 points.

Nuggets 101, Bobcats 85

At Charlotte, North Carolina, Carmelo Anthony scored a career-high 42 points and Denver handed Charlotte its eighth straight defeat.

With Michael Jordan in attendance, Anthony had his second 40-point game in less than a week. He also reached that mark in a victory over Miami on Friday.

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