Johnson joins Globetrotters to defeat former team

Updated: November 2, 2003, 10:33 PM ET
Associated Press

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The Harlem Globetrotters, with help from Magic Johnson, beat Michigan State 97-83 in an exhibition Sunday and stretched their winning streak to 283 games.

Behind 38 points from former UCLA guard Darrick Martin, including 18 in the last 6½ minutes, the Globetrotters avenged a 72-68 loss to the Spartans in November 2000 that snapped a 1,270-game win string.

Paul Davis had 19 points to lead Michigan State. But the Spartans' main highlight focused on the return of Johnson and a weekend reunion of the 1979 NCAA champions.

With college and pro rival and close friend Larry Bird on hand as the Globetrotters' honorary coach, Johnson was 2-for-3 and had five points and four assists in 16 minutes.

After Saturday's dedication of a 12-foot statue -- "Always A Champion" -- outside Breslin Center, Johnson joined former coach Jud Heathcote and his teammates from 25 years ago for a celebration.

On Sunday, Johnson signed just the second lifetime contract in Globetrotters history, joining Bill Cosby as $1-for-life employees, and finalized plans to complete his degree in communications from Michigan State in 2005.


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press