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Sunday, Feb. 4 1:00pm ET
Knicks win, famous singer forced to move


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."

Jimmy Buffet
Singer Jimmy Buffett, with his 6-year-old son Cameron, reacts to being told he's been ejected from his courtside seat.

The game featured a close finish, a celebrity ejection and a near-bench-clearing altercation. Pretty typical stuff for Knicks-Heat.

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 line (5-for-5).

"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.

Don't Call Forte Parrothead
MIAMI -- NBA referee Joe Forte isn't a "Parrothead," apparently.

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 another location.

"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 coming from.

"He thought I was insulting him. He wanted to give me a technical for calling him a Parrothead."

"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 several minutes.

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 Mason's jersey.

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 being suspended.

"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 there."

Game notes
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.
NBA Scoreboard

New York Clubhouse

Miami Clubhouse

New York 103
Miami 100

LA Lakers 100
Sacramento 94

Boston 103
Cleveland 82

New Jersey 96
Philadelphia 89

Phoenix 85
Charlotte 82

 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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