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Archive for Wednesday, December 11, 2002

NBA Roundup: Pippen grounds Jordan

Former teammates square off in Trail Blazers’ win

December 11, 2002

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— In his first game against Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen won the bragging rights hands down.

Pippen had one of his best games of the season, and Jordan's team had its worst. With a lively bounce to nearly every step, Pippen had 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists as the Portland Trail Blazers dominated the Washington Wizards 98-79 Tuesday.

"I know Pip, and I know he wanted to come out and play well," said Jordan, who also scored 14 points. "Believe me, I wanted to come out and play well, too. His horses were ready, and my mules were sick. I have to take some razzing for the time being."

Pippen made six of seven shots and tied Derek Anderson for the team-high in scoring. Pippen's points, rebounds and assists were just below his season highs in all three categories, and he shared the team scoring lead for only the second time this season despite playing only 27 minutes.

"I feel I was a little bit more ready for this game," Pippen said. "I knew there was a lot of attention being brought to it, and I wanted to answer."

The Trail Blazers outhustled and outworked the Wizards, outscoring them 50-28 in the paint and 20-8 on fastbreaks. Portland was ahead by 11 at the end of the first quarter, and the Wizards never got within single digits again. All five Portland starters were in double figures before the end of the third quarter.

"Terrible, wasn't it?" Wizards forward Bryon Russell said. "Everything from that game looked like a team that ain't going to make the playoffs, a team that don't care. I know we're better than that. I know we are.

"It looked like nobody wanted to be out there. You can't win like that. It hurts when nobody wants to be out there."

The 19-point loss was the biggest of defeat by the Wizards this season. Coach Doug Collins said he saw it coming after a terrible practice Monday.

"It's hard to figure out. I wish I could diagnose it," Collins said. "It's one thing to get beaten, but we didn't compete tonight. It's really the first time I can say all year that we didn't compete."

Portland has won three straight overall and eight straight against the Wizards. They are 6-0 at the MCI Center since the arena opened in 1997.

Larry Hughes had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Wizards.

Grizzlies 107, Heat 96

Miami - Drew Gooden, of Kansas University, scored 25 points and Wesley Person and Pau Gasol each added 24 as Memphis won its first road game of the season.

The Grizzlies had lost all 10 road games, the last four by an average of 16.5 points. But they put together a strong night offensively, shooting 59 percent from the floor and getting most of their production from their big three.

Eddie Jones broke out of a scoring slump for the Heat, finishing with a season-high 33 points.

Knicks 97, Sonics 80

New York - Allan Houston scored 25 points, Kurt Thomas had 22 and New York's point guards combined for 24 in a victory over Seattle.

The Knicks snapped a three-game losing streak with ease against the Sonics, who were playing the first game of a five-game road trip. Seattle was without its second-leading scorer as Rashard Lewis served a one-game suspension for throwing a punch.

Howard Eisley and Charlie Ward scored 12 points each for the Knicks on a night when Latrell Sprewell struggled and scored only nine points.

Gary Payton had 20 points but only four assists :quot; more than six below his league-leading average.

Rockets 103, Kings 96

Houston - Steve Francis scored 32 points and Yao Ming had six crucial points in the closing minutes as Houston almost blew a 19-point lead before snapping Sacramento's six-game winning streak.

The Rockets also ended a nine-game losing streak to the Kings after they built their big lead late in the second quarter. They had to fight in the closing minutes to keep their first victory over the Kings since March 28, 1999.

Chris Webber led the Kings' comeback attempt with 19 of his 30 points in the second half. Bobby Jackson added 27.

Mavs 122, Clippers 95

Dallas - Nick Van Exel and Michael Finley had 24 points each as Mavericks remained unbeaten at home despite losing leading scorer Dirk Nowitzki to an ankle injury.

Steve Nash had 17 points and seven assists and Shawn Bradley added 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Mavericks, who are 10-0 at home and a league-best 19-2 overall.

Elton Brand's 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Quentin Richardson's 16 points paced the weary Clippers, who had their season-high three-game winning streak snapped.

Nowitzki exited with 2:58 remaining in the first quarter with a sprained right ankle and did not return.

Bulls 107, Magic 87

Chicago - Jalen Rose scored 28 and Donyell Marshall and Marcus Fizer added 15 apiece as Chicago beat Orlando. Chicago led for all but the first five minutes as it won its second straight and snapped a six-game losing streak to Orlando. The Magic, meanwhile, dropped their third in a row. But the Bulls didn't exactly get the best the Magic had to offer. Orlando was playing its fourth game in five nights :quot; all but one on the road - and it was clear the Magic were fatigued. They also were short-handed, playing without Grant Hill (sore ankle) and Horace Grant (back spasms).

Lakers 106, Warriors 102

Oakland, Calif. - Jason Richardson scored 26 points and hit six three-pointers, and Earl Boykins drew a critical charge with 10.7 seconds left as Golden State toppled Los Angeles.

Gilbert Arenas scored 25 points and hit two free throws in the closing seconds as the Warriors shocked the three-time NBA champions for the third time in their last five trips to the Arena. Golden State won despite blowing all but one point of an 11-point fourth quarter lead over the Lakers, who couldn't quite make another late comeback.

Shaquille O'Neal had 36 points and nine rebounds as the Lakers rallied from another deficit with eight straight points in the final three minutes, but then went without a field goal in the final 2:19.

Kobe Bryant had 19 points and 14 assists for the Lakers, who had won two straight. They haven't had a three-game winning streak all season.

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