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HORNETS

Guard Tierre Brown, who has been playing in the National Basketball Development League, signed a 10-day contract.

LAKERS: Shaquille O'Neal almost surely won't play Wednesday against Seattle, making it 13 games he will have missed since straining his right calf Jan. 2. The center did a little shooting in practice but didn't last long in running drills while wearing a rubber sleeve on his right calf.

PACERS: Forward Ron Artest missed practice to fly to New York for an examination of his injured left thumb. He hurt the thumb on his nonshooting hand Jan. 17 at New Jersey.

WIZARDS: Forward Torraye Braggs signed a second 10-day contract.

DIVAC SKIPPING OLYMPICS: Kings center Vlade Divac will not play for Serbia-Montenegro at the Athens Olympics, saying he is no longer the best big man on the national team.

McGrady ties mark, then

leaves in Magic loss

CLEVELAND _ Tracy McGrady stopped himself. The Cavaliers certainly couldn't contain him.

Rookie LeBron James scored 16 in his first game back from a sprained ankle and Carlos Boozer had 23 points and 16 rebounds to help Cleveland withstand McGrady's shooting barrage for a 99-98 victory over the Magic.

McGrady tied a league record with eight 3-pointers in the first half, but Orlando's star guard played just five minutes after halftime because of a toe injury.

McGrady decided not to risk hurting his toe worse, and benched himself with 6:32 left in the third quarter.

"I know myself," said McGrady, who scored 34 of his 36 points in the first half. "I made the decision myself. It's pretty disappointing. First, you have the LeBron-T.Mac matchup everyone is hyped to see. It was frustrating."

Orlando stayed with Cleveland in the second half and still had a chance to win after Cavs forward Eric Williams missed two free throws with 7.5 seconds left. But Rod Strickland shot an air ball just before the horn sounded.

Also, the Cavs activated guard J.R. Bremer and placed center Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje (ankle sprain) on the injured list.

HEAT 95, ROCKETS 81: Thanks to one of Miami's best offensive efforts of the season, Stan Van Gundy pulled even in the first-year coaching rivalry with his younger brother. Eddie Jones scored 27 and Van Gundy's Heat shot 51 percent to beat coach Jeff Van Gundy and visiting Houston. Jeff won the only other showdown between the siblings Nov. 11.

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