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Green Keeps Streak Alive

February 27, 1996

A.C. Green kept his streak alive _ by the skin of his teeth.

A day after Green had two teeth knocked out by New York’s J.R. Reid, Green extended his league-high consecutive-game streak to 785 by playing 68 seconds Monday night in the Phoenix Suns’ 110-87 loss to the Utah Jazz.

``He shouldn’t lose the streak because someone took a cheap shot at him,″ Phoenix coach Cotton Fitzsimmons said.

Green, listed as questionable, entered the game with 6:59 to play in the first period, took one shot, a 3-point attempt, and missed. He left the game, went to the locker room with 5:51 to play in the first period and returned to his hotel.

Fitzsimmons coached the NBA record-holder for consecutive games played, Randy Smith, for part of his career.

Fitzsimmons said he allowed Smith, whose record is 906, to play short stints as many as 10 times while Smith nursed a hamstring injury one season.

``I’ve seen A.C. play in games with a cast on when we really needed him to play,″ Fitzsimmons said. ``I thought it was the right thing to do to play him, even for a minute.″

Reid was suspended for two games by the NBA and fined $10,000.

``I’m sorry that it happened, but sometimes these things happen during the heat of a game,″ Reid said in a statement.

In other NBA games, the Los Angeles Lakers beat New York 114-96, Indianapolis beat Boston 122-119 in overtime and Detroit beat Sacramento 93-78.

Against Phoenix, Karl Malone scored 28 points for Utah, which led 26-15 after one quarter following an 11-4 run in the final 5:23. The Jazz led 52-32 with 3:41 left in the first half, and took their largest lead, 110-85, with 32 seconds to go.

John Stockton had 16 points and 11 assists for Utah, including the 11,000th assist of his career.

Charles Barkley scored 17 points and Danny Manning 16 for the Suns, whose four-game winning streak was stopped.

Lakers 114, Knicks 96

Cedric Ceballos scored 27 points as Los Angeles beat New York for the first time since March 10, 1992. The Knicks had won seven straight over the Lakers.

Anthony Mason led visiting New York with 23 points. The Knicks trailed by 20 points early in the fourth quarter and got no closer than 12.

The Knicks played without Reid and the injured Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley. Also out of action was Magic Johnson, who has skipped three of the Lakers’ last four games because of a strained right calf.

``I am really upset right now and I’m most upset since we’re so short-handed,″ Reid said. ``I’ve let my teammates down.″

Pacers 122, Celtics 119, OT

At Boston, Reggie Miller scored 39 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer with six seconds left in overtime.

The Celtics overcame an eight-point deficit with two minutes left in regulation to tie it on Rick Fox’s free throws with 4.1 seconds to play. Boston led 119-117 in overtime when Miller ran through two screens to get open for the game-winning 3-pointer.

Rik Smits had 19 points and 13 rebounds and Antonio Davis scored 12 points with 12 rebounds for Indiana. Dino Radja scored 33 and David Wesley had 23 points with 10 assists for Boston, which lost its fifth straight.

Pistons 93, Kings 78-

Lindsey Hunter made three consecutive 3-pointers during a 14-0 fourth-quarter run as visiting Detroit sent Sacramento to its 11th straight loss.

Five straight points by Mitch Richmond helped the Kings close to 76-73 midway through the fourth. But the 3-pointers by Hunter provided the Pistons with an 88-73 lead.

Grant Hill scored 21 points with 10 rebounds and six assists. Newly acquired Billy Owens led the Kings with 21 points.

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