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Sprewell gives Warriors their only reason to smile


With Billy Owens and Tim Hardaway sidelined, Tyrone Hill ejected and Chris Gatling conked on the head, the Golden State Warriors had only six players for last week's second half at Denver. The only other player there, Chris Mullin, was doing radio, so the Warriors didn't even have enough players on the bench to carry Gatling off. It would be nice to report they won, but they didn't.

The bright spot in the Warriors season is Latrell Sprewell, the rookie guard and 24th pick in the draft, averaging 20.0 points, 7.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds since March 1. "He's incredible, and he's all ours," says coach Don Nelson. "We just love him to death. . . . There's no question he was the steal of the draft."

Endangered streak

Utah's John Stockton is the only player to record 1,000 assists. He's done it the past five seasons -- but he needs a 15-assist average over his last five games to do it again.

Not a high-percentage shot

Terry Cummings, sidelined all season because of a knee injury, is trying to come back, but San Antonio coach John Lucas isn't optimistic. "He's dragging his leg," Lucas said. "He thinks he's 100 percent. He thinks he isn't dragging his leg, but he is."

Adding injury to insult

The New Jersey Nets lost Kenny Anderson and Chris Dudley for the season and Drazen Petrovic for a month. Then coach Chuck Daly slipped and fell in the runway on his way to the dressing room, bruising his hand badly.

Never too old

Dominique Wilkins, 33, is about to become the oldest player to average 30 points. Only two have done it: Jerry West (31.2 at age 31) and Rick Barry (30.6 at 30). Wilt Chamberlain averaged 33 at 29 but took 27 percent fewer shots the next season, averaged 24 points and led the Philadelphia 76ers to an NBA title.

End of the bench or the line?

Dan Schayes, asking for a trade after Mike Dunleavy told him he didn't fit into the Milwaukee Bucks'

plans: "Mo [Moses Malone, an unrestricted free agent-to-be] is back, and all of a sudden I'm behind him, too. How does Mo fit into their future? I'm waiting for them to have a fans' promotion, Be a Buck for a Day. That guy will be ahead of me, too."

Two tales of threes

Brian Shaw was a 13 percent lifetime three-point shooter before he went 10 of 15 against Milwaukee, breaking the single-game record for three-pointers. "They say I can't shoot the ball," he said, "but this will go down as one night that I could."

Several days later, Orlando's Dennis Scott made nine three-pointers against the Bucks but took himself out with three minutes left. "Todd Day came up to me and told me they weren't going to let me get it," Scott said. "I could hear Fred Roberts telling people to foul me. . . . I just didn't think it was worth it."

Was Europe necessary?

Jerry Krause went to the European Final Four to scout Toni Kukoc again for the Chicago Bulls. Said Michael Jordan, never missing a chance to needle his general manager, after a fan hit a three-quarter-court shot to win $1 million: "I don't think Toni Kukoc could have done that."

Aiming high, falling short

Larry Johnson, who said he would score 80 points the next time he saw the New York Knicks to get even for Pat Riley's short-timing him in the All-Star Game, settled for 22. "Eighty?" Charles Oakley said before the game. "He may get 80 stitches."

No souvenirs?

Scott Williams, asked to donate the jersey he had torn in his fight with Bill Laimbeer of the Detroit Pistons for a charity auction: "Knowing the Bulls, they'll just sew it up and make me wear it against Cleveland."


New Jersey general manager Willis Reed, after Cleveland's Danny Ferry's shot at the buzzer beat the Nets: "Ferry can't do much, but he can shoot the ball."

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