Rockets best Heat in brotherly battle

Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2003

HOUSTON They'd already competed long and hard at pingpong, Chutes and Ladders and checkers. After all those years, Jeff and Stan Van Gundy finally faced off as basketball coaches.

In just the second time in NBA history that brothers coached against each other, Jeff's Houston Rockets sent Stan's Miami Heat 90-70 on Tuesday night.

Not only did Jeff beat his brother, the Rockets handed the Heat its second worst loss in a string of seven straight losses to open the season. Miami is the only winless team in the NBA.

The Van Gundys joined Herb and Larry Brown as the only brothers to coach against each other in the NBA.

''I almost feel guilty,'' Jeff said. ''It's like why were you blessed with talent and he wasn't? There was a huge talent discrepancy and huge size discrepancy, which we're happy about, but we're going to have to play better to continue to win.''

Jeff surprised Stan before the game started by walking down and shaking his hand.

''That sort of surprised me, Jeff came down,'' Stan said. ''That's rare for him to do that. That's why I didn't get up.''

The players realized it wasn't a regular game.

''You think about that kind of thing,'' Miami's Brian Grant said. ''Coach didn't say anything of that nature, getting a win because of his brother. But the players knew. Of course we're down. It's wearing on everybody not just the coach.''

The Rockets tried to concentrate on the game.

''I couldn't tell from anything they were doing,'' Steve Francis said. ''It wasn't about Jeff or Stan. It was about Houston versus Miami and I respect that.''

The family reunion started Monday night when the Heat arrived in Houston and Stan went to Jeff's home for dinner.

''His wife, Kim, told me to make sure I use the words 'homemade' and gourmet' and it was,'' Stan said. ''It was unbelievable steak, potato, salad it was wonderful. She said to say she cooks like that every night.''

The brothers continued their banter in pregame exchanges in the hallway outside the locker rooms.

''I wish it was me going against Jeff, I'm sure I'd come out on top,'' Stan said. ''It's more serious when we have to face Francis, (Cuttino) Mobley and Yao (Ming).''

The brother-brother intrigue was more entertaining than the game.

Houston missed its first six shots and didn't get a basket until 6:33 remained in the first quarter as the Heat took an 11-5 lead.

The Rockets recovered to lead 43-36 at halftime and took command in the third quarter. Houston was led by Mobley, who scored a season-high 30 points.

Yao had a career-high seven blocked shots. He had 16 points and eight rebounds. Eddie Jones led the Heat with 21 points.

The Van Gundys rarely looked at each other during the game. Stan, wearing a tan jacket, was more animated than his brother, dressed in a dark suit.

76ers 112, Wizards 105

WASHINGTON Allen Iverson had a season-high 40 points for Philadelphia, winning a scoring duel with Gilbert Arenas.

Arenas scored a season-high 36 points in a game featuring two of the most exciting guards in the Eastern Conference.

Iverson had more than his share of misses 12-for-29 from the field but he never stopped shooting, and made 14 of 18 free throws. The 76ers went 24-for-26 from the line in the second half.

Celtics 78, Pacers 76

INDIANAPOLIS Vin Baker hit a fallaway jumper in the lane with 20 seconds left to lift Boston past Indiana.

Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 19 points, nine assists and six rebounds, and Baker had 12 points and four rebounds.

SuperSonics 89, Timberwolves 87

MINNEAPOLIS Ronald Murray hit a jumper over Latrell Sprewell at the buzzer, capping a career-high 29-point performance and lifting Seattle over Minnesota.

Murray also had six rebounds and eight assists to help the Sonics snap a nine-game losing streak in Minnesota.

Kevin Garnett had 26 points and 13 rebounds for the Timberwolves. Sprewell scored 20 points.

Mavericks 125, Hornets 97

DALLAS Steve Nash hit all five of his 3-point shots and sparked the Mavericks' 23-2 third-quarter run.

Antoine Walker had 21 points, Michael Finley 20 and Dirk Nowitzki 18 for the Mavericks.

Nash finished with 17 points and 11 assists in Dallas' most-lopsided victory of the season.

Baron Davis had 25 points for the Hornets.

Trail Blazers 83, Raptors 80

PORTLAND, Ore. Zach Randolph had 18 points and 11 rebounds and Portland overcame a big game from Vince Carter.

Carter scored 19 of his 33 points in the first half for the Raptors, who shot just 41.4 percent from the field.

Dale Davis added 10 points and 10 rebounds for Portland, and Rasheed Wallace had 11 points and eight rebounds.

Kings 97, Pistons 91

SACRAMENTO, Calif. Mike Bibby had 23 points and five assists to help Sacramento snap Detroit's five-game winning streak.

Bobby Jackson added 16 points and Doug Christie had 14 points and eight rebounds for the Kings.

Richard Hamilton had 19 points for Detroit.

The Pistons played without leading rebounder Ben Wallace, sidelined by a severely sprained left ankle.

Clippers 115, Hawks 103

LOS ANGELES Quentin Richardson had career highs of 32 points and 16 rebounds for Los Angeles in coach Mike Dunleavy's 400th career victory.

Dunleavy, in his 11th season as an NBA coach and first with the Clippers, became the 30th coach in league history to reach the 400-victory plateau. He's 400-392 overall.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim led Atlanta with 23 points.

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