Around the NBA

PISTONS: Video boards outside The Palace lit up the message, "Welcome Home Chris."

Inside the home of the Detroit Pistons, Chris Webber signed a prorated contract for the veteran's minimum in the hopes of adding a championship to his NBA resume.

"This is definitely special, I never thought I would be a Detroit Piston," Webber said at a news conference. "I'm here in the summer, but being home with this team makes me feel good."

The five-time All-Star, who grew up in Detroit and played at Michigan, became a free agent after Philadelphia cut ties with him by buying out the final 1 years of his contract last week.

Webber will make about $650,000 to play the rest of the season with an Eastern Conference power. He agreed to give the 76ers $2 million this season and $2 million next season when he was due to make about $43 million over the two years.

Detroit brought Webber home, keeping him away from Eastern Conference rival Miami and the Los Angeles Lakers.

KINGS: New York handed Sacramento its season-high sixth consecutive loss, 102-97, Monday at Madison Square Garden.

The Kings had won two in a row at the Garden after losing 17 of their previous 18.

The six-game losing streak is the longest for Sacramento since it dropped the final seven games of the 1997-98 season.

The weary Kings, who had traveled overnight on Saturday after losing at home, lost another close one. Three of the defeats during their skid, including Saturday's, came in overtime.

Sacramento was only 19 of 28 (68 percent) from the foul line Monday.

"We got to the line 28 times but you've got to hit free throws," Kings coach Eric Musselman said. "We're one of the better free-throw percent shooting teams in the league, but we have not been down the stretch."




The Hawks and Timberwolves have split the season series the past three years, but Atlanta has dropped eight in a row at Minnesota.

The Hawks last won at Minnesota on April 12, 1997 (80-66).

Overall, Atlanta has won two in a row and three of five after beating the Celtics 100-96 at home on Monday.

Boosted by the surprise early return of Josh Smith from a hernia operation this week, the Hawks still were without their top two point guards - Speedy Claxton (knee) and Tyronn Lue (groin).


Sacramento at Toronto, 7 p.m.

New York at Washington, 7 p.m.

New Jersey at Charlotte, 7 p.m.

Utah at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.

Chicago at Milwaukee, 8 p.m.

Philadelphia at Memphis, 8 p.m.

Atlanta at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Phoenix at Houston, 8:30 p.m.

L.A. Lakers at San Antonio, 9 p.m.

Cleveland at Portland, 10 p.m.

Golden State at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 p.m.


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