The crowd chanted Yao Ming's name all game, soaking up the novelty of the NBA in another tribute to a player who is fast becoming a one-man basketball marketing force in China.
Yao scored 13 points on 4-for-5 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds in 27 minutes in the Houston Rockets' 91-89 loss to Sacramento yesterday in Beijing. Bobby Jackson made a fallaway jumper from the right corner with 6.7 seconds left to win it for the Kings.
This was the second and final game of the NBA's exhibition tour of China. Yao led Houston over the Kings on Thursday in his home town of Shanghai, and he received another enthusiastic welcome in Beijing from the crowd of 17,903.
"These two games have provided Chinese basketball fans with a special opportunity to experience the passion of NBA basketball," Yao said. "As for NBA marketing, I believe that is something Chinese businesspeople should learn from." . . .
Allen Iverson was ejected from a preseason game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors in London, Ontario, for yelling at an official from the bench.
Iverson yelled to Courtney Kirkland to blow his whistle after the official failed to call a foul on Toronto in the second quarter. Kirkland gave Iverson a technical and then tossed him after the guard repeated his demand.
* BASEBALL: Two-time all-star Ray Boone, patriarch of a three-generation baseball family, died early yesterday following a long illness. He was 81.
Boone had been hospitalized for six months with complications following surgery, said his wife, Pat.
"It's a blessing," she said. "He had a great life."
Boone played from 1948-60 with six teams and was followed into the big leagues by son Bob and grandsons Bret and Aaron.
"We were the first three-generation family," Pat Boone said. "We're not the only one, but we were the first."
Boone was an infielder who had a career .275 batting average, with 151 home runs and 737 RBI. He played for the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Athletics, Milwaukee Braves and the Boston Red Sox.
He was an all-star third baseman for Detroit in 1954 and 1956.
Bob Boone played from 1972-90, and Bret Boone broke into the big leagues with Seattle in 1992. Aaron Boone made his debut in 1997.
The Boone family was the first to send three generations to the all-star game.
In 2000, when Bret Boone played for San Diego, he and his father and grandfather threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Padres' home opener.
Ray Boone, born July 27, 1923, followed Ted Williams at San Diego's Hoover High.
* SAILING: America's Cup holder Alinghi, of Switzerland, became the third syndicate to win a regatta leading up to the 2007 contest. Alinghi used a pair of top-three performances on the final day of racing in Valencia, Spain, to win the Louis Vuitton Act 3, a fleet-racing regatta involving eight syndicates.
Team New Zealand, swept in five races by Alinghi in the 2003 America's Cup in Auckland, and San Francisco-based BMW Oracle Racing won two races to finish second and third overall, respectively.
* TENNIS: Anastasia Myskina and Nikolay Davydenko gave Russia a sweep of the women's and men's singles titles at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.
Myskina captured this event for the second straight year, running off 10 straight games to defeat Elena Dementieva, 7-5, 6-0, in the tournament's first all-Russian final. Davydenko saved three match points in rallying past Britain's Greg Rusedski, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, for his second title this year.
* SOCCER: Inter Milan finally played up to preseason expectations, with Adriano producing two excellent goals and Christian Vieri ending his scoring drought in a 3-1 win in Rome over Udinese in Italy's Serie A. . . .
In the English Premier League, Newcastle was held to a 1-1 tie at Charlton and denied a chance to move into fourth place.
* HORSE RACING: Slew's Saga, son of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, won the $250,000 Cup and Saucer Stakes by nine lengths at Woodbine in Toronto. The 2-year-old bay colt, ridden by Steven Bahen, covered 11/16th miles on turf in 1 minute 44.14 seconds. He earned $150,000 for owners Karen and Mickey Taylor.
* FOOTBALL: Borrowing a page from Texas A&M's "12th man," Navy's football team will hold open tryouts today for any Midshipmen willing to play on kickoff coverage in a game. Navy Coach Paul Johnson will announce the winners tomorrow, and each will cover the opening kickoff against Delaware on Oct. 30 and Rutgers on Nov. 20.
-- From News Services
and Staff Reports