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Sura intentionally misses layup for rebound

4/13/2004

ATLANTA (AP) -- Bob Sura grinned sheepishly after becoming the
first NBA player in seven years to have three straight
triple-doubles.

He knew this feat should come with asterisk.

Sura intentionally missed a layup and grabbed his 10th rebound
just before the buzzer in the Atlanta Hawks' 129-107 victory over
the New Jersey Nets on Monday Night.

He already had 22 points and 11 assists.

"Actually, the ball slipped," Sura said, laughing and not
making any pretense that he was being serious.

The Hawks spent the final two minutes trying furiously to get
Sura his final rebound. But in keeping with the theme of the game --
Atlanta shot 58 percent (47-of-81) from the field -- no one could
miss.

Jason Terry led Atlanta with 30 points, Stephen Jackson had 23
and Chris Crawford matched Sura with 22.

"Everyone was making all their shots," Sura said. "J.T.
couldn't miss. Jack(son) couldn't miss. On the last play, all the
guys on the team were screaming at me to do it. It was kind of a
reaction thing. I just did it."

At least Sura's bit of personal self-gratification came at his
own end of the court. Ricky Davis, then of Cleveland, was roundly
condemned last season when he tried to finish off his first career
triple-double by shooting at the wrong basket, missing and getting
the rebound.

Before it could happen, a Utah player wrapped his arms around
Davis and was called for a foul. Davis was fined by the Cavaliers,
and the league pointed out a rule barring players from trying to
score for the other team.

The Nets didn't seem especially upset by the way Sura got his
triple-double. After all, New Jersey is heading on to the playoffs,
the Hawks' season is just about over.

"They've struggled this season," Richard Jefferson said. "If
they can find a high point, go for it."

New Jersey's Jason Kidd, who leads the NBA with nine
triple-doubles this season, was asked if he ever resorted to Sura's
tactics to get one.

"I've never had to," Kidd said. "But it still counts as a
triple-double. ... I have nothing to do with stats. He missed a
layup at the end and got a triple-double."

Sura was the first player since Grant Hill in 1997 to have three
straight games with double figures in scoring, rebounding and
assists.

Speaking of threes, the Hawks won their third in a row for the
first time this season. They finish the year -- their fifth straight
missing the playoffs -- at Boston on Wednesday night.

"We're going for four in a row, baby!" Terry said.

The Hawks poured it on in their biggest victory of the season,
making a season-high 17-of-25 on 3-pointers. Terry was 6-of-8
outside the arc.

"They caught fire, and then it was pretty much target
practice," Jefferson said.

The Nets were playing the second game of a back-to-back set --
they beat Philadelphia at home on Sunday -- and the result was
irrelevant to their postseason plans. New Jersey will be seeded
second in the East.

This one was never close. The Hawks led by double figures before
the game was 3½ minutes old. They hit 10 of their first 11 shots,
including eight in a row to start the game. And even their first
miss didn't hurt -- Jason Collier tipped it back in for two.

The Hawks were up 65-42 at halftime, giving them three straight
games in which they have eclipsed 60 in the first two quarters.
They were just short of their season high for the first half, a
69-point effort at Dallas last month.

It equaled the most points scored against the Nets in a half
this season. They also gave up 65 in the second half of a Feb. 11
game at Cleveland.

Kidd led the Nets with 15 points.

Kidd and Kenyon Martin both played for New Jersey, even though
it meant going on back-to-back nights with knee problems. Coach
Lawrence Frank said a night earlier that both would probably sit
out, but they elected to play after going through the pre-game
warmup.

Martin had nine rebounds.

But this night belonged to Sura, who also eclipsed 5,000 career
points.

The eight-year veteran never had a triple-double until Friday,
when he put up 12 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds at Chicago.
The following night, he had 15 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds
against Boston.

"It's been exciting for me to come here," said Sura, acquired
by the Hawks in a February trade. "We don't want the season to end
since we've been winning some games."

Game notes
The Hawks have broken 100 points in four straight games.
... In the last three games, the Hawks have scored 61, 63 and now
65 points in the first half. ... The Nets won their first 13 after
Frank took over as coach from Byron Scott; they are 12-14 since
then. ... Hawks rookie Travis Hansen scored a career-high 14
points. ... Martin played 24 minutes, Kidd 26.