The Nuggets are finally on the move -- six wins in eight games after winning six of their first 34 -- yet keep running into trouble.
During Tuesday night's eye-opening victory at Milwaukee, in which Michael Adams ran into wandering Bucks Coach Del Harris -- getting Harris ejected -- and scored 41 points, Adams's new running mate Reggie Williams went out with a third-quarter concussion after a hard fall.
"We lost Walter Davis in a trade, Todd Lichti through surgery and now we lose Reggie Williams," Coach Paul Westhead said.
Williams, let go by the Spurs a few weeks ago, has fit in well with the Nuggets' run-amok style and against the Bucks had 20 points -- 18 in the first half. Denver led by 14 at the half and by 19 with 7:33 to go in the third quarter when Williams was hurt in collision under the basket.
Initial reports were that he had a concussion. No immediate indication how long he'll be out.
BACK IN STRIDE:
If the Bullets wonder what to expect from John Williams, they might be heartened by the comeback of Ron Harper from reconstructive knee surgery.
In his second game after more than a year away, the Clippers guard did everything but beat the Knicks in Tuesday's 108-107 overtime loss in Los Angeles. Harper came on in relief for 23 points and five assists in 25 minutes, with 10-of-19 shooting.
The Clippers even went to Harper for the would-be winning shot at the end of regulation -- it was blocked by Gerald Wilkins -- and put the ball in his hands in the final seconds of overtime -- Maurice Cheeks stole it from him.
But yes, he's back. He said he hasn't had pain or swelling in the knee and adds: "I feel I'm about a half-step away from having all of my speed. I feel like I've got a little bit of timing that I need back."
NO WORD ON BIRD:
Larry Bird, sidelined most of January with back problems, says he feels better than he has all season. But no word yet as to when he'll return to the lineup. He participated in a full Celtics practice Tuesday for the first time since his last game Jan. 6.
"I feel probably better right now than I have before the season even started so I'm pretty excited about it," Bird said. "But you just have to take it a day at a time."
One day after returning to practice, Charles Barkley felt pain in his left ankle and the 76ers star says he expects to miss four more games because of the stress fracture there and probably won't make the All-Star Game Feb. 10.
"I'm disappointed about that, but I'm more disappointed that I'm going to miss the next four games. The 76ers are more important than that other stuff," said Barkley, who was injured Jan. 11 and has missed seven games since, Philadelphia going 2-5.
Barkley, averaging 30.8 points this season, has played in four straight all-star games and has been voted a starter three times, including this year.
The 76ers are officially calling Barkley's availability "day-to-day."
Should he is unable to take part in the All-Star Game, Barkley has nominated either Reggie Lewis of Boston or Dennis Rodman of Detroit to take his place, with a lean: "Reggie Lewis has been the main reason the Celtics have been winning. I think he'd be a good choice."
Commissioner David Stern would name the replacement.