NBA Notebook

Pippen Un-Retires to Play in Finland

After a three-year break, Scottie Pippen is back playing professional basketball.
After a three-year break, Scottie Pippen is back playing professional basketball. (By Kimmo Mntyl -- Associated Press)

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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Former NBA star Scottie Pippen scored nine points and nine rebounds to help Finland league leader Torpan Pojat beat Honka, 98-85, yesterday in Vantaa, Finland.

"It was great. I did not know what to anticipate without a game for the last three years," the 42-year-old said. "My conditioning is not at the top level, but I played with a great team and had a lot of fun."

Pippen won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and also was a two-time Olympic gold medalist. He scored 12 points in his first game Friday, ToPo's 93-81 win over Porvoo.

HISTORIC MEETING: For the first time since 1981, two NBA teams entered a game on Jan. 5 with a combined 54 wins. For the first time since 2000, two teams played with each riding at least an eight-game winning streak. With a combined winning percentage of .844, the third highest in the shot clock era, Detroit and Boston offered a preview of what might be the Eastern Conference finals in June.

The Celtics, who won, 92-85, extended their winning streak to nine games and snapped the Pistons' streak at 11 games.

The last time two NBA teams met when both were on winning streaks of at least eight games was Feb. 29, 2000, when the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland each had 11-game streaks. Boston and Detroit's combined victory total was the most in a matchup on or before Jan. 5 since Philadelphia (34-7) played Golden State (22-18) in 1981.

DENG ON THE MEND: Bulls F Luol Deng missed the game against the Kings because of left Achilles' tendinitis and is day-to-day. Although an MRI exam on Friday revealed no major structural damage, the Bulls are taking a cautious approach with their second-leading scorer.

-- From News Services

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