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Shaq back, Grant too for Magic

Orlando fans can breathe a bit easier.

Shaquille O'Neal and Horace Grant returned from injuries Friday night, and O'Neal scored 18 of his 32 points in the second quarter and Donald Royal added 23 as the Magic rolled to a 125-100 preseason victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

After sitting out Wednesday night's win over Miami because of a blister on the big toe of his right foot, O'Neal returned to his usual dominating form with five slam dunks during his prolific second quarter. He fueled a 20-9 run with 10 points, resulting in a 69-57 halftime lead for the Magic (3-1), who played a late game Saturday here against Philadelphia.

Grant, also absent Wednesday with tendinitis in his left foot, scored six of his 18 points during an 11-4 spurt that extended Orlando's 12-point halftime lead to 81-61 with 7:11 left in the third quarter.

The Magic maintained their 20-point margin through the end of the period, and Los Angeles (3-2) got no closer than 14 points with 5:50 to play. Lakers first-round draft pick Eddie Jones scored 16 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter.

Lakers reserve guard Sedale Threatt, who went AWOL in Hawaii last Saturday, returned to the team Friday and insisted his reasons were personal instead of contractual. Threatt played 16 minutes, scoring two points in his second preseason appearance.

Around the league

Mavericks: Dallas owner Donald J. Carter has reconsidered, reportedly for sentimental reasons, the announced $1-billion sale of the company his mother founded 37 years ago.

Carter had announced plans in July to sell 51 percent of Home Interiors & Gifts Inc. for about $1-billion to Dallas investment firm Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst. Carter said he wanted to separate his real estate and basketball properties from Home Interiors for estate-planning purposes.

Carter, however, called off the deal Friday.

No reason was announced, although Carter said his reasons had nothing to do with Hicks Muse.

The Dallas Morning News reported in its Saturday editions that a source said Carter had "remorse" about the sale.

The source also said Carter was concerned the sale would hit Home Interiors stockholders with big tax bills.

Thomas Hicks, chairman of Hicks Muse, said Friday that Carter was selling a stake in the team to him.

Bullets-Pacers fouled up: Indiana defeated Washington 121-111 Friday night in Indianapolis, but the real news was the 84 personal fouls and the 14 technicals.

Indiana's Reggie Miller was ejected with 9:40 remaining in the third quarter, along with Pacers coach Larry Brown. Indiana was called for six technical fouls in the quarter _ two each by Miller and Brown and one apiece for Dale Davis and Derrick McKey.

Four Bullets fouled out. Washington was assessed three technicals for illegal defense.

Bucks: Point guard Eric Murdock will be sidelined up to six weeks with an eye injury. Murdock, a three-year veteran, received a corneal bruise to his right eye with 2.8 seconds left in the first period of the Bucks' preseason opener against Minnesota.

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