Gary Payton was ejected so quickly, he didn't get to see his teammates give the kind of effort--albeit a losing one--that he had been demanding.
One night after criticizing his teammates for their lack of hustle and toughness, Payton got himself ejected late in the first quarter of a 112-106 loss to the Knicks in New York last night.
Payton had to be restrained by his teammates as he stormed after referee Ted Bernhardt, who whistled him for two technical fouls.
"I didn't come to New York to sit in my locker, I came here to play basketball," Payton said.
Shammond Williams, a seldom-used second-year guard who took over the playmaking duties after Payton was ejected, led Seattle with a career-high 22 points. Williams's previous high, reached Friday night in a loss at Boston, was three points.
BULLS 83, PACERS 82: Randy Brown's assignment was to chase Reggie Miller through a maze of screens, hound him, pester him and throw off his shot any way he could. Mission accomplished.
"I just tried to stay with him and not give him any open looks, just tried to keep the heat on him," Brown said after his defense limited Miller to a season-low six points on 3-of-14 shooting as the Bulls stunned slumping Indiana in Chicago.
The Pacers, who have lost four of their last five games and four straight on the road, got a final shot to win, but Rik Smits's short jumper was well short just before the buzzer.
JAZZ 105, LAKERS 101: Karl Malone scored 31 points and John Stockton had 18 points, 15 assists and 9 rebounds as host won in double overtime.
Quincy Lewis scored six points in the second overtime and Stockton added four as the Jazz sent the Lakers to their fourth loss in the last six games.
NUGGETS 110, GRIZZLIES 98: Ron Mercer scored 24 points, all in the second half, and host Denver snapped a six-game losing streak. In a duel of teams with losing skids, Vancouver dropped its sixth straight game.
Mercer also had six assists, four rebounds, three blocked shots and one steal. Shareef Abdur-Rahim led Vancouver with 24 points and 13 rebounds.
TRAIL BLAZERS 101, NETS 87: Greg Anthony keyed a fourth-quarter surge and Portland recovered from a sluggish first half for a victory at home. Coming off road wins over Western Conference powers San Antonio and the Lakers in their last two games, the Trail Blazers struggled for the entire first half and trailed by seven points at halftime.