Blazers go to the Wells to win it in OT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Even when the Portland Trail Blazers were
winning, the rap against them was that they hadn't beaten anybody

They've beaten someone now, but it took a win over the NBA's team of the moment at the midway point of the season to convince the Blazers' many skeptics that they might finally be onto something.

Bonzi Wells scored eight of his career-high 34 points in overtime as the Portland Trail Blazers defeated Sacramento 116-110 Tuesday night to snap the Kings' 12-game winning streak.

"It's always nice to knock somebody's winning streak off of them," Wells said. "It was big for us tonight. Everybody's confidence is good right now."

Rasheed Wallace added 33 points and 15 rebounds, and he made a
career-high six 3-pointers. His last one put the Blazers ahead to
stay at 107-105 with 2:48 left. Dale Davis had 17 points and 12
rebounds for Portland, which has won eight of 10.

Before Tuesday night, the Blazers were 0-7 against the top five teams in the Western Conference. Now they're 21-20 and moved above .500 for the first time since Dec. 21.

"We're starting to realize that we are becoming a pretty good basketball team," said first-year coach Maurice Cheeks. "We're starting to believe that we can go win basketball games and not have to struggle to win games all the time."

Chris Webber had 34 points, eight rebounds and eight assists to lead Sacramento, which blew a chance to extend the longest winning streak in the NBA this season by missing four straight shots in the overtime.

"They were aggressive at home, and they played their best ball tonight," Webber said. "That's what you have to do to beat a good team like us."

Mike Bibby added 27 points and Peja Stojakovic had 21 for the
Kings (31-10), who still have the league's best record but fell to
8-9 on the road. They also kept their 1½-game lead atop the Pacific
Division standings, since the Lakers lost.

Doug Christie's 3-pointer put Sacramento ahead 105-102 a little
more than a minute into the overtime, but the Kings didn't score
again until Hedo Turkoglu's uncontested layup with 23.6 seconds

"We just never got control of the game," Bibby said. "And Bonzi was incredible the whole game, especially overtime."

After Wallace's 3-pointer, Wells made a tough turnaround jumper.
Then, after Bibby missed a little floater, Wells sank a 20-footer
over Christie to make it 111-105 with 1:13 to go.

"Bonzi is a man," Webber said. "He is a great player who had
an extraordinarily great game tonight."

Wells also made Portland's first two baskets of the extra period, regaining his stroke despite not scoring in the final 5:44 of the fourth.

"I told (Cheeks), `You know coach, there's an ocean out there,
let me go swimming,"' Wells said.

Five days after blowing an eight-point fourth-quarter lead in an overtime loss to Miami, Portland took a 100-94 lead with 2:11 to go but couldn't put away the Kings.

After going more than two minutes without a point, Sacramento
got a dunk and a layup from Webber -- both on passes from Christie -- to draw within two.

After two misses by Scottie Pippen, Bibby spotted up for a
22-foot jumper that tied it at 100 with 18.5 seconds left.

The Blazers had one more chance, and Pippen got Wallace the ball
in the lane, but Wallace's turnaround went off the iron to the
right, and Sacramento's Bobby Jackson rebounded. With 2.0 seconds
left, Bibby inbounded from the frontcourt and found Webber, who
missed from 22 feet out to send it to overtime.

Most of the Blazers' scoring came from Wallace, Wells and Stoudamire in the first half, but Davis almost single-handedly kept Portland in front in the third quarter.

Davis scored 12 points in a span of 3½ minutes, on three dunks,
two layups and two free throws.

"He does a great job for us, night in and night out of working
the boards and being the guy to do the dirty work for us," Pippen

Game notes
Sacramento entered the game as the league's second-leading
rebounding team, but the Blazers had a 52-27 edge. ... The Blazers didn't attempt a free throw in the first half, but finished the game making 18-of-23. ... The Kings shot 51 percent and fell to 15-1 when shooting 47 percent or better. ... Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington attended the game after carrying the Olympic torch for a leg near the arena.


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