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Rice sparks 4th-quarter comeback over Heat

SHARE Rice sparks 4th-quarter comeback over Heat

The Charlotte Hornets were already pretty good at protecting leads. On Friday night, they showed that they can erase deficits, too.

"I don't know if they gave up or things just didn't go as they planned, but we just kept attacking," Glen Rice said after he powered a fourth-quarter rally that lifted Charlotte to a 119-102 victory over the Miami Heat in Charlotte, N.C.It was the first comeback victory of the season for the Hornets, whose six previous victories all had come after they built leads through three quarters.

This time Charlotte rallied from a 91-87 deficit in the final seven minutes and outscored Miami 32-11 down the stretch. The Hornets scored on 18 of their final 19 possessions; Miami came up empty on 13 of its last 19.

"I like that. That's the way to finish," Charlotte coach Dave Cowens said. "When you get a finish like that against a team that's as structured and disciplined as this team, that's saying something. Our guys did a nice job."

Rice, held to five points in the first half, finished with 26, including 13 in the last 6:15 as the Hornets improved to 7-3, the best start in franchise history.

"We got them where we wanted them," Rice said, "and when you get a team where you want them, you've just got to keep trying to bury them."

Miami had just four turnovers through three quarters but added eight more the rest of the way.

"We played great for three quarters, then we just disintegrated in the fourth," said Tim Hardaway.

KNICKS 104, WIZARDS 82: At Landover, Md., Larry Johnson scored 23 points and New York used a big second quarter to hand Washington its fourth straight loss.

Patrick Ewing had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who have won six straight and 21 of 22 against Washington.

CAVS 103, TIMBERWOLVES 80: At Minneapolis, Wesley Person scored 22 points, Shawn Kemp had 19 and Cleveland dealt Minnesota its third straight home loss.

Fans at the Target Center booed the home team, whose two previous home losses were at least competitive - an overtime defeat against the Wizards and a loss at the buzzer to the Spurs.

CELTICS 101, NETS 93: At Boston, the Celtics avenged a loss to New Jersey that broke their four-game winning streak and beat the Nets behind 24 points and 12 rebounds from Antoine Walker.

Tyus Edney and Greg Minor came off the bench to score 12 points each and Ron Mercer, another substitute, added 11 for Boston, which didn't win its sixth game last season until Dec. 30.

SUPERSONICS 94, SPURS 74: At Seattle, Vin Baker scored 22 points and Gary Payton added 17 points and 14 assists as Seattle held San Antonio to a season-low point total. Seattle raced to a 36-16 lead after one quarter and the Spurs pulled no closer than 17 the rest of the way.

GRIZZLIES 99, NUGGETS 96: At Vancouver, B.C., Shareef Abdur-Rahim scored 28 points and Vancouver rallied to avoid becoming the first team to lose to Denver this season. The Nuggets, who have yet to win under rookie coach Bill Hanzlik, have lost a franchise record 10 straight to start the season. They remain the NBA's only winless team.

BULLS 111, CLIPPERS 102, 2 OT: At Los Angeles, Michael Jordan scored 49 points, including all nine of Chicago's points in the second overtime, to lead the Bulls to their first road victory of the season. The Clippers, losing their eighth straight game, missed all six of their shots and failed to score in the second extra period.