ZO NO BOZO: One of the reasons for the Miami Heat's recent surge is a change in demeanor by Alonzo Mourning.
"He's keeping his mouth closed with the referees," teammate Tim Hardaway said. "It's about time he grew up with that. He's just saying `good call' or not saying anything. He's calmer, not wrestling with his man or shoving him out of the way and getting into that physical stuff."Miami, just 2 1/2 games behind Chicago in the race for the best record in the East, went 4-0 on a recently completed Western swing - its last of the year. The Heat have has won 12 of their last 13 games and will play 14 of their final 24 at home.
Riley credits Mourning's mental approach for the team's surge.
"He's a businessman, and the only people who can impact his business are the officials and the opponent," Riley said. "I think he's been very disciplined. He doesn't get as frustrated, and he's leaving the theatrics behind."
KINGS' COACH FINED: Sacramento Kings coach Eddie Jordan was fined $5,000 by the NBA on Friday for screaming at the officials following his team's loss to the New Jersey Nets on Thursday night.
Seconds after the Kings' 102-99 loss, Jordan berated referee Leroy Richardson at midcourt, repeatedly pointing a finger in the official's face.
Richardson had made a questionable foul call against Corliss Williamson after the Kings forward grabbed an offensive rebound with 24 seconds to play and Sacramento trailing by a point.
Jordan walked on the court after that play and was given a technical foul.
Rod Thorn, the NBA's senior vice president for basketball operations, fined Jordan for "verbally abusing the referees and failing to leave the court in a timely fashion."
The loss was the fifth in a row for Sacramento.
"I was sticking up for my team," Jordan said after the game. "Call it T.I., temporary insanity. I don't know exactly what I was doing. I was just trying to stand up for my team."
VAN EXEL ON INJURED LIST: Nick Van Exel, who underwent diagnostic arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and is expected to be out at least three weeks, was placed on the injured list Friday by the Los Angeles Lakers.
To replace Van Exel on their roster, the Lakers activated rookie guard Shea Seals, who had been on the injured list all season.
Van Exel was diagnosed Thursday by team physician Dr. Steve Lombardo as having with a small defect on the back of the kneecap which caused a popping sensation in the knee.