Around the NBA
No Shaq? No problem.
The Los Angeles Lakers got Shaquille O’Neal back Wednesday night, then lost him after less than 9 minutes with another knee injury. It didn’t matter in a 100-84 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center, just like it hadn’t in a 16-point win over the Chicago Bulls last week.
O’Neal, who missed the previous two games and was absent from the All-Star weekend because of a mild sprain to his right knee, strained his left knee 3:34 into the game and left 5 minutes later.
He left with 12 points, including 10 straight after the injury. He was to be re-evaluated before tonight’s game at Denver, and was not available after the game.
At Auburn Hills, Mich., Grant Hill had 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as the Detroit Pistons defeated the Orlando Magic 96-87.
Hill recorded his fifth triple-double of the season, four of them in the last month.
At Charlotte, N.C., Vlade Divac blocked a franchise-record 12 shots and Anthony Mason had 21 points and 18 rebounds, leading the Charlotte Hornets over the New Jersey Nets 113-100.
Webber out seven to 10 days
Washington Bullets forward Chris Webber is expected to miss seven to 10 days with a strained lower back. Webber suffered the injury in Tuesday’s 97-92 home loss to the New York Knicks and is listed as doubtful for Friday’s game against the New Jersey Nets.
Allan Bristow, former Charlotte Hornets coach and Denver assistant, became the Nuggets vice president of basketball operations. Bristow was an assistant coach for the Nuggets for six seasons in the 1980s. … The Golden State Warriors activated guard Mark Price, who has been sidelined since Jan. 23 with a broken bone in his right wrist. … NBA referees, Henry Armstrong and George Tolliver, were indicted by separate federal grand juries on tax evasion charges. Armstrong, of Virginia Beach, Va., and Tolliver, of Harrisonburg, Va., allegedly downgraded first-class airline tickets provided for NBA travel to cheaper coach-class tickets, pocketed the difference and failed to pay taxes on the money.
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