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N.J. Nets get rid of Calipari; Vancouver’s Hill may be next
Nuggets end their losing streak, beat the Grizzlies

SHARE N.J. Nets get rid of Calipari; Vancouver’s Hill may be next
Nuggets end their losing streak, beat the Grizzlies

John Calipari is gone. Brian Hill could be next.

"Right now, I think we could go out with 12 players, without the coaches, and do a better job without them," Vancouver guard Lee Mayberry said Monday night after the Grizzlies lost their 12th in a row, 110-84 to the Denver Nuggets.Earlier in the day, the Nets relieved Calipari of his duties following a 3-17 start. Assistant coaches Johnny Davis, Jack Haley and Kenny Gattison also were fired, and Don Casey will take over the team on an interim basis.

As for Hill, the watch is on.

The Grizzlies haven't won since Feb. 23 against the Lakers -- a victory that signaled the end of Del Harris' reign in Los Angeles.

"I'm not worried about my job, I'm worrying about getting this team ready to play," Hill said. "We have to examine what we are doing as coaches."

Antonio McDyess scored 21 points and reserves Cory Alexander and Johnny Taylor had 14 points apiece as the Nuggets came back from their worst offensive performance of the season and ended a seven-game losing streak.

The Nuggets hit 12 of 22 shots in the first quarter, and matters got only slightly better in the second quarter for the Grizzlies as Cory Alexander scored seven points, two on 3-pointers, to help Denver take a 56-39 lead at halftime.

Chauncey Billups had 10 points in the third quarter as Denver maintained a 20-point lead for most the period.

"To me, it was an absolute embarrassment not to compete at the beginning of the game," Hill said. "It is frustrating when it happens back-to-back."

"It's easy to blame the coaches and I don't think it is the coaching," Shareef Abdur-Rahim said, "We aren't playing together and it showed in this game, one we felt like we should have been able to get back on track."

TRAIL BLAZERS 106, MAVERICKS 91: At Dallas, Isaiah Rider scored a season-high 30 points, 23 in the first half, as Portland won for the 10th time in 11 games and remained a half-game behind Utah for the best record in the league.

Rider scored only three points in an overtime victory Saturday over the lowly Clippers.

"You don't want to have two games like that in a row," said Rider, who went 12-for-22 from the field and shot 3-of-5 on 3-pointers. "I was determined not to let that happen. I went into the Clipper game lackadaisical. I just wasn't ready to play."

MAGIC 74, 76ERS 73: Darrell Armstrong stole an inbounds pass with 3.3 seconds remaining and dribbled half the length of the court for a buzzer-beating layup.

"He ought to be a candidate for sixth man of the year," Orlando coach Chuck Daly said of Armstrong. "I've said it before, but I really don't know where we'd be without him."

Nick Anderson scored 15 points, Armstrong 14 and Penny Hardaway 11 as the Magic improved to 11-1 at home despite shooting a team record-low 28.6 percent from the field.

KNICKS 108, BUCKS 102: Latrell Sprewell scored a season-high 28 points, Allan Houston had 22 and Larry Johnson 21 as New York won at Milwaukee, its first victory over the Bucks in three tries this month. The previous two games ended in a pair of one-point losses for the Knicks.

RAPTORS 89, HORNETS 82: At Toronto, Doug Christie had 18 points as the Raptors snapped a two-game losing streak and dropped Charlotte to 2-3 under new coach Paul Silas.

KINGS 111, WARRIORS 105: At Sacramento, Chris Webber had 20 points and six other Sacramento players scored in double figures. The game was decided at the foul line, where the Kings went 24-for-40 and the Warriors were just 5-for-7.