MIAMI -- New York guard Latrell Sprewell leaned back, and
with a smile, summed up Sunday's Knicks-Heat game in one sentence:
"This was about the way it was supposed to go."
The game featured a close finish, a celebrity ejection and a
near-bench-clearing altercation. Pretty typical stuff for
But Glen Rice, who has played much of the season with a sore
left foot, made the difference. Rice scored 29 points as the Knicks
beat the Miami Heat 103-100 in a wild overtime game.
Rice, who began his career with Miami, hit 10 of 15 shots and
was perfect from 3-point range (4-for-4) and from the free-throw
"He made the game look easy today," Heat coach Pat Riley said.
"He is a great player. We didn't forget about him."
For the Heat, the game came down to missed opportunities.
Eddie Jones missed a pair of free throws in the final minute of
regulation, Bruce Bowen missed the first of two free throws that
could have tied the game in overtime and Eddie House missed a
wide-open 3-pointer from the corner as time expired.
|Singer Jimmy Buffett, with his 6-year-old son Cameron, reacts to being told he's been ejected from his courtside seat.
"We came up short," Riley said. "We had great opportunities
to close it out. It was a tough way to lose."
It had plenty of excitement, though.
Referee Joe Forte ejected singer Jimmy Buffett from his seat
along the baseline in the fourth quarter. Forte said he tossed
Buffett for using profanity. The altercation delayed the game
Heat officials said Buffett was escorted to another seat in the
arena for the remainder of the game.
Anthony Mason and Larry Johnson almost followed Buffett in
overtime. With less than a minute remaining, Mason bumped Johnson
as they were running across the court, and then Johnson grabbed
Words were exchanged, double technicals were called and Knicks
coach Jeff Van Gundy was once again in the middle, trying to break
things up. No punches were thrown and both players stayed in the
game for the finish.
Mason finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds.
Last month, Van Gundy required several stitches around an eye
after he was struck by the Knicks' Marcus Camby, who was swinging
at San Antonio's Danny Ferry.
In the 1998 playoffs, Van Gundy grabbed Alonzo Mourning's leg
during a bench-clearing fight that resulted in several players
"It's fun being part of this," New York's Allan Houston said.
"I don't see how people could watch. I was sitting there pulling
my hair out."
Jones, who scored 21 points, fouled out with a little more than
three minutes to play in overtime.
With Jones on the bench, the Knicks took a 101-95 lead. Mason
and Tim Hardaway hit back-to-back shots to make it 101-99, but
Bowen missed the first of two free throws that could have tied the
game with 4.4 seconds remaining.
Rice punctuated the game with a layup off the inbounds pass, but
he probably should have tried to run the clock out.
"Theoretically, you like to catch it and dribble away the
time," Van Gundy said.
Down 103-100, Riley turned to House to take the final shot.
House had not played because he received three stitches in his
lower lip early in the game. House injured his lip during pregame
introductions, colliding with Hardaway.
House's shot came up short.
"We have to remember that this was a regular-season game,"
Hardaway said. "Everybody makes it into a big thing. Both team
like to play against each other and both teams like to have a
little bragging rights, but it's a little too emotional out
Don't Call Forte Parrothead
MIAMI -- NBA referee Joe Forte isn't a "Parrothead,"
Forte ejected singer Jimmy Buffett from his seat along the
baseline at Sunday's game between the Knicks and Heat.
Forte said he tossed Buffett for using profanity.
"He was there with his son," said Heat coach Pat Riley, who
had a front-row seat for the commotion. "I don't think it was that
bad. I mean, come on, a few words."
The altercation delayed the game several minutes in the fourth
quarter. Heat officials said Buffett, whose fans are called
"Parrotheads," was escorted to another seat in the arena for the
remainder of the game.
"He was using profanity," Forte said. "There was a little boy
sitting next to him and a lady sitting by him. He used some words
he knows he shouldn't have used, so I asked security to move him to
"We don't have to take that kind of thing."
Forte said he did not know the man was the legendary singer
until someone mentioned it to him after the incident.
"I told Joe Forte, I said, 'Do you know who that is?' " Riley
said. "I said, 'Do you mean to tell me you've never been a
Parrothead in your life?' So that tells you where our officials are
"He thought I was insulting him. He wanted to give me a
technical for calling him a Parrothead."
Grant left the game in the third quarter with back spasms
but returned for the final frame. ... Hardaway's 3-pointer in the
first quarter extended Miami's NBA record for consecutive games
with a 3 to 556. ... Miami forward A.C. Green has now played in
1,159 straight games.
New York Clubhouse
New York 103
LA Lakers 100
New Jersey 96
The chances were there, but the Heat could not finish according to Pat Riley.
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Pat Riley is surprised that some NBA officials are not Jimmy Buffett fans.
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