Originally created 02/10/00

Rodman's return spoiled by Sonics



DALLAS -- Dennis Rodman gave Dallas the rebounding it was looking for, but Gary Payton's all-around performance and Rashard Lewis' big fourth quarter spoiled the Worm's return and carried Seattle to a 117-106 victory Wednesday night.

Payton had 25 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds, and Rashard Lewis scored 16 of his career-high 30 points in the final period as the SuperSonics bounced back from a last-second loss in San Antonio for just their fourth win in 11 games.

Rodman, who had only one practice to prepare for his first game since April, was the reason the game drew a season-high 18,203 fans and he didn't disappoint.

In 32 minutes, he had 13 rebounds -- one shy of the team's individual season-high -- and had one assist on a long baseball pass. His every move was cheered and he made one woman's night by tossing her his No. 70 jersey as he walked to the locker room.

But Rodman also showed signs of rust. Rodman was caught in two illegal defenses, dropped a loose ball out of bounds with no one around and was whistled for five fouls. He missed the only shot he took, which was actually a tip, and he was slow to react to a give-and-go feed from Michael Finley.Hawks -- 116Rockets -- 100

ATLANTA -- Jim Jackson scored 23 points as the Atlanta Hawks matched their highest point total of the season with a victory over the Houston Rockets.

Atlanta, which has won six of its last nine games, led by as many as 31 points on a fourth-quarter jumper by Jason Terry.

After starting out 1-for-7, Atlanta made 11 of its next 13 shots to take a 28-15 lead on Jackson's jumper with 1:31 remaining in the first quarter.

The Hawks felt comfortable enough that All-Star center Dikembe Mutombo, the NBA's leading rebounder, did not return after picking up his fourth foul with 5:28 remaining in the third quarter.

Spurs -- 106
Nuggets -- 97

DENVER -- David Robinson scored 30 points, Tim Duncan added 24 and Avery Johnson had 19 as the San Antonio Spurs withstood a fourth-quarter comeback to beat the Denver Nuggets.

The Spurs, who lost 86-84 in their last visit to Denver on Dec. 18, built a 25-point lead midway through the second quarter and still led by 17 entering the final period.Jazz -- 113Bulls -- 86

SALT LAKE CITY -- Despite nagging back and finger injuries that he said might keep him from playing in the NBA All-Star Game, Karl Malone felt strong enough to score 30 points and grab 10 rebounds as Utah defeated Chicago.

Malone was 11-of-15 from the field and 8-of-9 from the line. The Jazz led 91-70 when the 6-foot-9 forward sat down for good at the end of the third quarter.