O'Neal, Walker, Posey rejoin the Heat


Published: Friday, January 12, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 12, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

SAN FRANCISCO — Shaquille O'Neal practiced Thursday for the first time since tearing cartilage in his left knee Nov. 12, and forwards Antoine Walker and James Posey also rejoined the Miami Heat.

Walker and Posey were placed on the inactive list Jan. 3 for failing to meet conditioning guidelines.

The Heat are midway through a six-game trip. Walker and Posey will be available for Friday night's game at Golden State, but O'Neal will not play, the team said.

O'Neal has missed the past 28 games and played in only four games this season. He earlier said he would likely need about four or five practices before he would play.

O'Neal had surgery Nov. 19 and was then projected to be sidelined until at least late December.

Walker and Posey have missed the past four games. They were deactivated by coach Pat Riley the day he began an indefinite leave of absence to undergo knee and hip surgery.

The injury-plagued defending NBA champions are 15-19 and third in the Southeast Division, but they're 2-1 on their trip under interim coach Ron Rothstein. After facing the Warriors, they play Saturday at Utah and Monday at the Los Angeles Lakers.

NETS 86, BULLS 83

Jason Kidd recorded his 82nd career triple-double, and visiting New Jersey erased an 18-point deficit against Chicago for the second time in a week, beating the Bulls.

Kidd had 23 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists for his seventh triple-double of the season. Vince Carter added 18 points for the Nets.

BUCKS

Milwaukee is missing four starters because of injuries, but general manager Larry Harris wants to send the message that they aren't giving up on the season.

Harris acquired point guard Earl Boykins in a three-player trade with Denver on Thursday, sending backup guard Steve Blake to the Nuggets for Boykins — the second-shortest player in NBA history at 5-foot-5 — and second-year guard/forward Julius Hodge.

CELTICS

Guard Tony Allen will miss the rest of the season with two torn ligaments in his left knee.

Coach Doc Rivers said Thursday that Allen will be out at least six months. Allen hurt the knee when he landed awkwardly after an uncontested dunk in the final minutes of a 97-84 loss to Indiana on Wednesday.

Rivers said Allen "was not in good spirits" when he spoke with him earlier Thursday.

"As a coach, you can be emotional, but you still have to function," Rivers said. "He came to believe he could be a great player in this league and now he has to start over again."

The Celtics have already lost leading scorer Paul Pierce, out since Dec. 20 with a stress fracture in his left foot. Forward Wally Szczerbiak is out at least a week because of ankle injuries and guard Delonte West is out with a sore back.

Center Theo Ratliff is out for the season with a back injury.

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