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Defense matches personality

Kevin Johnson says Phoenix coach Paul Westphal's frequent switching of defensive assignments is in keeping with his personality and philosophy.

"Paul likes the Israeli army a lot," Johnson said. "He says the one characteristic of the Israeli army is that it never does the same thing twice, even when it works."

Distant replay?

Danny Ainge hit a jumper from outside the three-point arc with 7:55 left in the second quarter Sunday, but he didn't get credit for three points until 3:50 later when his shot was reclassified by referees.

Under NBA rules, referees can change a call such as that anytime within a quarter but must wait until the next dead ball. The next stoppage was when Michael Jordan was fouled with 4:05 left in the period.

Referee Mike Mathis said he made the wrong signal after Ainge's shot.

NBA spokesman Brian McIntrye said he did not recall such a reclassification in a Finals game.

The change cut the Bulls' lead to 45-43 after Chicago had led by as much as 11.

Sit down, shut up

Infamous NBA Heckler Robin Ficker was escorted from the arena in the first quarter by league security but later returned.

Ficker said he was taken out for "interrupting the game by yelling at Michael Jordan as he was coming down the court, "Hey, Michael how much do you want to bet on the game?' "

Ficker also carried a copy of Michael and Me, the book by Richard Esquinas that claims Jordan lost hundreds of thousands of dollars betting on golf games.

Ficker said he has not been thrown out of any arena for yelling at players, which is his trademark at the Capital Centre in Landover, Md.

Ficker returned to his seat, but said security threatened to kick him out if he continued. Ficker continued to show the Bulls some dice, a rubber chicken and waved $100 bills.

_ TIMES WIRES

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