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Monarchs Beat Miracle 82-72

August 9, 2002

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ Kedra Holland-Corn scored 20 points and Yolando Griffith added 18 as the Sacramento Monarchs beat the Orlando Miracle 82-72 on Thursday night.

Wendy Palmer led Orlando with 17 points as the Miracle dropped a half-game behind Indiana with two games left in the race for the fourth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Fourth-place Indiana, which beat Orlando on Wednesday night, has three games left and holds the tiebreaker over the Miracle.

``I don’t think we played a very good transition defense and that hurt us late,″ Miracle guard Pee Wee Johnson said. ``This was an important game. It’s definitely do-or-die now.″

Sacramento, which won for the ninth time in eleven games to improve to 12-17, is out of the Western Conference playoff race.

``I’m proud of this team,″ Sacramento coach Maura McHugh said. ``We had something to prove to ourselves. Just because the playoffs aren’t there doesn’t mean we don’t have something to play for.″

Ahead 67-65 with 3:42 to play, the Monarchs broke away with an 8-2 run to make it 75-67 with 49 seconds left. Ticha Penicheiro scored four points during the run.

Griffith also had 10 rebounds for the Monarchs, and Penicheiro had 11 points and 12 assists. Johnson and Nykesha Sales each scored 16 points for the Miracle.

With Orlando’s loss, first-place New York and second-place Washington clinched Eastern Conference playoff spots.

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