Miami wins, Spurs war with NBA
MIAMI, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Ray Allen delivered the decisive blow in Miami's 105-100 win over San Antonio Thursday, a game that touched off a war between the Spurs and the NBA.
The Heat overcame a late six-point deficit to defeat a San Antonio team that competed without four players, including veteran center Tim Duncan, who were sent home for an extra day's rest.
San Antonio was playing its sixth game in nine days -- all on the road. Miami, meanwhile, had not played since Saturday.
Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Danny Green all were excused from the game by Coach Gregg Popovich. The coach said he made the decision when the 2012-13 schedule was released and he saw the difficult November road his team would have to travel.
NBA Commissioner David Stern, however, rejected the idea that the Spurs could decide which players to use in which games.
He issued a statement prior to the game apologizing to the fans.
"This is an unacceptable decision by the San Antonio Spurs and substantial sanctions will be forthcoming," the statement said.
San Antonio won the first five games of the road trip and came very close to defeating the defending NBA champions Thursday.
The Spurs had a 95-89 lead with 3 minutes to play, but Miami climbed to within one on Dwyane Wade's layup with 1:02 remaining.
Gary Neal then missed a 3-point attempt for the Spurs and Allen put the Heat in front at 100-98 by hitting a 3-pointer with 23 seconds left.
LeBron James scored 23 points to lead the Heat with Allen producing 20 and Wade 19.
Neal had 20 points for the Spurs, who came into the game with a 9-1 record on the road and a league-high 13 victories. Tiago Splitter, getting the start at center in place of Duncan, had 18.
Rondo suspended for two games
NEW YORK, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- The NBA suspended Boston point guard Rajon Rondo for two games without pay Thursday for his role in an altercation with Brooklyn's Kris Humphries.
Players from both teams took part in an extended period of pushing and shoving during the second quarter of their game on Wednesday.
The incident was precipitated by a hard foul committed by Humphries on Boston's Kevin Garnett.
Rondo was the most active of those who took part and he was kicked out of the game, as was Humphries and Brooklyn forward Gerald Wallace.
Wallace was fined $35,000 by the league and Garnett, who picked up a technical foul but was not ejected, drew a $25,000 fine. Humphries was not punished by the league.
Rondo's early departure from the game ended his streak of double-digit assist games at 37, leaving him tied for second on the all-time list with former Utah guard John Stockton. Rondo will miss Boston's game on Friday against Portland and on Saturday against Milwaukee.
Fruitless NHL talks conclude
NEW YORK, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- A second day of mediated NHL labor talks ended Thursday with no report of progress and no further meetings were scheduled.
Statements from both sides said the mediators saw no reason at present to continue the negotiations.
The lockout of NHL players by league owners has lasted 75 days and games through Dec. 14 have been canceled. For the second time in eight years the league faces the possibility of losing an entire season due to an inability to reach a new collective bargaining agreement.
"Today, we concluded two days of mediation with FMCS (Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service) mediators and representatives of the NHL Players' Association," NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said.
"After spending several hours with both sides over two days, the presiding mediators concluded that the parties remained far apart and that no progress toward a resolution could be made through further mediation at this point in time."
Union chief Don Fehr issued a similar statement.
"This afternoon, the mediators informed the parties that they did not think it was productive to continue the discussions further today," he said. "The mediators indicated that they would stay in contact with the league and the (union) and would call the parties back together when they thought the time was right."
Notre Dame storms past Kentucky
SOUTH BEND, Ind., Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Eric Atkins hit 7-of-11 from the field and scored 16 points Thursday in leading Notre Dame to a surprisingly easy 64-50 win over No. 9 Kentucky.
The Fighting Irish limited the Wildcats to 19 field goals for the contest en route to their 41st victory in their last 42 home games.
Notre Dame advanced to 7-1, its lone loss having come against St. Joseph's in the third game of the season.
Kentucky held a one-point lead with 9:30 to play in the first half before Notre Dame went on a 19-7 run to end the period. The Fighting Irish advantage grew to 19 points midway through the second half.
Jerian Grant and Jack Cooley both had 13 points for Notre Dame.
Julius Mays scored 16 points for Kentucky (4-2). The Wildcats had won three in a row since losing to Duke Nov. 13.