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MAVERICKS' OWNER FINED, SUSPENDED

Mark Cuban was fined $10,000 -- enough to buy 10,101 chalupas -- and banned from Reunion Arena for two games for his fast-food inspired dash onto the court at the end of the Dallas-Cleveland game.

A shoving match between the Mavericks and the Cavaliers broke out at the end of Thursday night's game when Dallas tried to reach 100 points in the final seconds of a blowout victory so fans could get coupons for 99-cent chalupas as part of a fast-food promotion.

Cuban came rushing onto the court to aid his players when the Cavaliers objected to the Mavericks' running up the score.

The outspoken owner has been fined a total of $405,000 for infractions ranging from criticizing referees to sitting too close to the court. But this was his first suspension.

In addition, Robert Traylor of the Cavaliers was suspended for one game and fined $5,000 for throwing a punch at the Mavericks' Courtney Alexander. Traylor will serve his suspension when the Cavaliers face Houston tonight.

Under NBA rules, any team official other than a coach who comes onto the court during a game is automatically suspended for the next two home games and the team is automatically fined $10,000.

Cuban will miss games against Washington tonight and the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. He will have to leave the arena at least two hours before the start of the games.

The billionaire owner said he was simply trying to protect his players.

"These are people I care about," Cuban said on KTCK radio. "When something like that happens, your instinct isn't to worry what the rule book is going to say."

Fans began chanting "Cha-lu-pa! Cha-lu-pa!" in the game's waning seconds, urging the Mavericks to top the century mark -- which guarantees the Taco Bell treat for the home crowd.

Mavericks forward Gary Trent was knocked to the floor by the Cavaliers' Wesley Person after Trent's turnaround jumper with 3.3 seconds to go put Dallas at 100 points. Both players got into a brief shoving match and Cuban ran on the court, then quickly backed off when the players were separated.

76ers give Brown 1,000th win

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia's Allen Iverson nearly delivered coach Larry Brown his 1,000 professional victory all by himself.

Iverson had 20 points and four steals in the first quarter and finished with 42 points as the 76ers beat the Los Angeles Clippers, 108-93.

"I'm glad to be here with him because not many coaches at this level reach that point," said Iverson, who shot 16 for 31 from the field and scored more than 40 points for the third straight game and for the 12th time this season. "Being around him, I can see how he has done it."

In the three games since the All-Star break, Iverson is averaging 43.3 points. The 76ers have won three straight.

"The little kid (Iverson) got us off to a great start," Brown said. "The thing that surprises me is the little things he does every night."

Eric Piatkowski had 19 points for the Clippers, who lost their fourth straight.

Lakers sting Hornets

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Shaquille O'Neal scored 38 points, including eight straight in the fourth quarter, and had 12 rebounds to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 99-94 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

Kobe Bryant, the NBA's scoring leader at 30.3 points a game who scored 44 against the Hornets on Feb. 2, was held to just 25 this time and only five in the second half.

But Bryant came up big for the Lakers in the final minute to preserve the win. The Lakers had a 92-89 lead with under a minute to play when Bryant started a drive to the basket that looked like it would be unsuccessful.

Bryant nearly lost the ball twice as he drove from the right side of the court and under the basket. As the shot clock wound down, he tossed a scoop shot high above the basket that fell straight through the hoop for a 94-89 lead with 50 seconds to play.

Jamal Mashburn led the Hornets with 26 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.

Around the rim

Allan Houston scored 31 points as the Knicks defeated the Nets, 114-104. The Knicks had their highest scoring game of the season and shot 56 percent from the field. . . . Tracy McGrady scored 14 of his 35 points in third quarter as the Magic won their eighth straight game, beating the Rockets, 108-93. . . . Tim Duncan had 26 points and 12 rebounds as the Spurs sent the Timberwolves to their third straight loss, 91-85, despite 31 points and 16 rebounds from Kevin Garnett. . . . Sacramento's Predrag Stojakovic scored 29 points and the Kings held Denver to just seven points in the second quarter of a 117-84 romp over the Nuggets. . . . Shareef Abdur-Rahim scored 28 points to lead the Grizzlies over the Warriors, 92-79. Golden State has lost eight of its last nine. . . . Former Celtics star Robert Parish took his first pro coaching job, agreeing to a pact with the USBL's expansion Maryland Mustangs.

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