Magic trade Mobley, fall to Celtics
Published: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 11, 2005 at 12:51 a.m.
BOSTON -The Orlando Magic lost a high-scoring guard in Cuttino Mobley and the Boston Celtics found one in rookie Tony Allen.
Allen scored 16 points in 20 minutes and the Celtics won 119-101 Monday night against a team shaken by the trade that sent Mobley to Sacramento shortly before the game. Steve Francis, Mobley's close friend, appeared distracted on the court and was upset afterward.
''For us, not just myself but everybody, we were pretty much just emotionally drained,'' Francis said. ''You don't wait 30 minutes before a game to tell a guy he's traded.''
Coach Johnny Davis said he learned a few minutes before the game that the trade had been completed, bringing Doug Christie to the Magic and also sending forward Michael Bradley to the Kings. Mobley was Orlando's third leading scorer with 16 points per game, but Christie should help the defense of a team that has allowed the most points per game in the NBA.
Mobley could have become a free agent after the season.
''I think, ultimately, that's what made the decision,'' Davis said.
Mobley, standing near the Orlando locker room during the second half, said, ''I'm sad. Maybe they (the Magic) were scared I wouldn't sign back.''
Francis had 18 points but played just 27 minutes. He and Mobley had joined the Magic in an offseason trade that sent Tracy McGrady to Houston. Several Orlando players wore black armbands with Mobley's No. 5 on them.
''It was hard for me to play. He is my brother,'' Francis said. ''I've played my whole career with him.''
Christie should improve the team's defense and passing. The Magic have allowed the most points per game in the NBA.
''We felt that Doug was a perfect fit for the chemistry of our team right now,'' Orlando general manager John Weisbrod said. ''He's a tremendous passer and defender, he's accustomed to playing in an up-tempo offense and he brings valuable playoff experience.''
Christie is averaging 7.3 points, 4.9 assists and 4 rebounds in 31 games, all starts. In eight games with the Magic, Bradley is averaging 0.8 points and 1.8 rebounds in 6.9 minutes per game. The Kings gave up their best defender and a team leader to add another standout scorer to their lineup. Mobley has averaged 17 points per game during his seven pro seasons, including a career-best 21.7 in 2001-02 with the Rockets.
''He's an athletic, all-around very skilled offensive two-guard that has been remarkably consistent in his production over his career,'' said Geoff Petrie, the Kings' president of basketball operations. ''He's a terrific 3-point shooter that can break people down and get to the basket. He's a very exciting player, and I think he'll be an adequate defender.''
Mobley could become a free agent next summer when he has a player option in his contract, possibly clearing room on the Kings' payroll for an extension for Peja Stojakovic or other needs. Christie is in the fourth season of a seven-year, $48 million deal.
Kevin Garnett had 23 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists for the Timberwolves, who led by as many as 16 points late in the second quarter.
Chucky Atkins had 23 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, Chris Mihm scored 14 points and grabbed 17 rebounds for the Lakers.
Los Angeles went 16-for-35 from 3-point range, one short of the franchise record for both attempts and makes. Caron Butler added 12 points and 11 rebounds.
This was a watered-down rematch of last year's Western Conference finals, when the Lakers outlasted the Wolves in six games before their defeat to Detroit in the NBA finals that led to the big breakup.
Shaquille O'Neal, now with Miami, was conspicuously missing from the Los Angeles frontcourt - as was coach Phil Jackson from the bench. And Minnesota, which has struggled all season to rediscover the rhythm that got it the conference's top seed, limped in with nine losses in the last 13 games. The Lakers entered with the better record, but just by one game.
Zach Randolph scored 18 points and Ruben Patterson had 13 for the Trail Blazers, who won for only the second time in their last eight games. Portland made a season-high 14 3-pointers on 26 attempts, with Stoudamire adding five. Sebastian Telfair sank the other.
Van Exel scored 15 points on five 3-pointers during the third quarter when Portland took a 26-point lead.
Allen Iverson shook off a sprained right ankle to score 21 points with nine assists and nine rebounds for Philadelphia.
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