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Mar 16, 2004 7:03 AM


Hornets (+1) at Heat: Passion is the key. New Orleans has been accused on having none. Miami, in a fight for the No. 8 seed in the East, is 21-12 at home. Amazing for a team that was eight games below .500 late last week. MIAMI.

Sonics (+5) at Hawks: The less than SuperSonics have talent, but play stupid. Guard Ray Allen is gifted, but a potato chip. Sonics live or die by the 3. Atlanta has played much better at home, evidenced by a 14-18 mark compared to woeful 7-26 away. A yawner. ATLANTA.

Last week: 1-1

Season: 27-13.


Isles at Lightning: The Islanders have to be weary from playing on the West Coast, then traveling 3,000 miles to Tampa. What’s worse, the Lightning are the NHL’s hottest team at 9-0-1 in the last 10 games as of late last week. Give at least the half-goal. TAMPA BAY.

Blues at Kings: These two teams could be tied at gametime as they battle for a playoff berth. Staples Center will be alive for this crucial game. Kings are 5-3-2 in their last 10, led by 600-plus goal scorer Luc Robitaille. LOS ANGELES.

Last week: 1-1

Season: 18-22.