SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- It was not a good start for Rasheed Wallace.
A little more than two minutes into the game Saturday night against San Antonio, the Portland Trail Blazers' star forward was
sitting on the bench with two fouls.
But Wallace finished strong, scoring 18 points on 8-for-12
shooting, including 2-for-2 on 3-pointers, to help the Trail
Blazers to a 95-76 victory over the Spurs.
It was the first defeat for San Antonio in the new SBC Center.
Bonzi Wells came off the Portland bench for 19 points to pace
all scorers. Scottie Pippen added 15 points and Zach Randolph 14
for the Trail Blazers, who extended an 11-point lead after three
quarters to as many as 23 late in the game. Ruben Patterson led all
rebounders with 12.
''I think we disappointed Maurice (Cheeks, Portland's coach)
last night by the way we played,'' said Pippen, referring to the
Trail Blazers' 86-75 defeat against Phoenix. ''We had to come out with
something different and play for 48 minutes.''
Portland, shooting 43 percent from the floor in its first five
games, made 51 percent of its attempts (38-for-74), while San
Antonio managed only 39 percent (27-for-70).
''We were a step behind most of the night on defense,'' said
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. ''We didn't communicate with each other
very well on offense or defense. We played a poor basketball game,
and it ended in a loss.''
''We kept a pretty tight hold on Tim,'' Pippen said, ''and
didn't let him catch the ball in his comfort zone, where he can be
a major threat.''
San Antonio dug itself into an early hole by making only one of
its first 10 shots, that one a 2-footer by Duncan. The team
finished the period with four field goals in 21 attempts, all of
them by Duncan (4-for-9).
Having Wallace on the bench didn't hurt the Trail Blazers, who
built their lead to 18-6 on Randolph's layup with 2:59 left in the
The Spurs roared back in the second by making eight of their
first 11 shots, while Portland's shooting went cold.
A tip-in by Robinson at 6:03 tied the score at 27, but the Trail
Blazers then rebuilt the margin with a 13-2 run.
Pippen connected on a 3-pointer for the first of three
consecutive three-point bursts in the span of a minute. Dale Davis
was fouled making a layup and converted the free throw, and Wallace
followed with a 28-footer to put Portland up 38-29 with 3:40
remaining in the half.
San Antonio's 10 first-quarter points barely averted the
team record-low of nine for the period, set in Houston in April
1994. ... The crowd cheered Antonio Daniels, a former Spur traded
to Portland in the offseason, when he entered the game late in the
first period. ... Daniels finished with eight points, compared with
five for Steve Kerr, who came to San Antonio in the same deal. ...
Portland had lost three in a row on the road, while the Spurs won
their first two games at the SBC Center.