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Raptors terminate O'Neill

A day after coach Kevin O'Neill questioned the Toronto Raptors' commitment to winning, they fired him.

Interim general manager Jack McCloskey told O'Neill of the decision yesterday.

O'Neill's job status was already shaky when on Thursday he said the franchise is just excited to be part of the NBA and not focused on winning.

The Raptors finished this season 33-49 and missed the playoffs for a second straight year.

"Some of my comments yesterday were out of frustration," O'Neill said yesterday. "I started giving advice and it turned out bad."

Pistons out of synch

Rasheed Wallace and Mike James sat out most of practice yesterday, but the Detroit Pistons expect them to be ready for the start of their playoff series against Milwaukee tomorrow. Wallace (sore left arch) and James (groin) only took part in non-contract drills for the second straight day. Brown said Wallace and James might miss practice again today . . . The Los Angeles Lakers listed Karl Malone (sprained ankle), Rick Fox (dislocated right thumb), Devean George (strained left calf), and Derek Fisher (strained groin muscle) as day to day on the eve of tonight's game against the Houston Rockets.

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