Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 12/17

Game 1: Tuesday, December 17th
Trail Blazers102
Game 2: Friday, January 24th
Trail Blazers97Final

Hornets 93

(17-9, 6-8 away)

Trail Blazers 102

(12-11, 7-4 home)

    Coverage: COX

    7:00 PM ET, December 17, 2002

    Moda Center, Portland, OR

    1 2 3 4 T
    NO 28 21 19 2593
    POR 25 25 26 26102

    Top Performers

    New Orleans: J. Mashburn 22 Pts, 8 Reb, 4 Ast

    Portland: B. Wells 30 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Pippen: 'If I speak the truth, what can they say'

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Even after beating one of the Eastern Conference's best teams, the Portland Trail Blazers still can't shake questions about their off-the-court problems.

    Bonzi Wells scored a season-high 30 points, and Rasheed Wallace had 22 points and 13 rebounds as the Blazers beat the New Orleans Hornets 102-93 Tuesday night.

     Scottie Pippen

    Afterward, Portland co-captain Scottie Pippen stood by critical remarks he made about Blazers management published earlier in the week in the Chicago Tribune, saying he was telling the truth.

    Pippen, who had 11 points and eight assists, described the acquisition of Shawn Kemp as "the worst move in pro sports."

    He also said Portland owner Paul Allen and president and general manager Bob Whitsitt "don't want to win. They're just trying to excite the crowd" by acquiring new players.

    "They've done the wrong things for the community, because they broke up a team the fans could get behind," Pippen went on to say. "You've got to build relationships. You've got to build chemistry. We'll win some games, but when the dust settles, we'll be under the dust."

    After the game, Pippen was unflinching, saying the organization knows he's telling it like it is.

    "If I speak the truth, what can they say?" Pippen said. "I've been saying it all along, it just finally got publicized. It's very obvious what's going on."

    Pippen, who moved past Dave Bing into 45th place on the NBA's career scoring list, started and was welcomed as usual by the fans. When asked whether he thought the chemistry problems can be fixed this year, Pippen bristled.

    "I'm not the one fixing it," he said. "You've got to ask Whitsitt that, and Paul. I'm not the one fixing it, I'm just playing."

    Wells was somewhat defensive when asked about Pippen's feelings, not wanting to give the impression of dissent.

    "I know in my gut we can win a championship, and we need everybody in this locker room to have that same type of attitude," Wells said. "I know Scottie didn't really mean that. I know you're trying to start something. I ain't going to talk about our leader. I'm not even going to disagree with him."

    Jamal Mashburn led the Hornets with 22 points and eight rebounds. Baron Davis added 21 points and six assists. Jamal Magloire had 15 points.

    "We didn't play worth a damn tonight," Hornets coach Paul Silas said. "I just don't like what I see from us right now. We weren't committed tonight."

    New Orleans, which has three games remaining on a seven-game trip, has lost two in a row.

    "It's kind of like we self-destructed," Davis said. "We can't come out here on the road, give up 100 points and expect to win. Right now we're not playing any defense."

    Portland pulled ahead thanks to a 12-5 third-quarter run that put some distance between the two teams after what had been a very close game to that point. There were 16 ties and 10 lead changes before the Blazers finally built a lead.

    "It was a quality win for us, because I think we displayed some fight," Cheeks said.

    Blazers guard Damon Stoudamire attended his first home game since announcing a $250,000 donation to Portland Public Schools to help save spring sports from budget cuts.

    Stoudamire, who has been booed loudly at recent home games, did not play because of an illness, the same ailment that kept him out of the second half of Saturday's win over Minnesota.

    Game notes
    Tuesday's game was the lone home date in a stretch of eight games for Portland. The Blazers have a pair of home games on either end of the Christmas break, followed by another four-game Eastern swing. ... Portland has won six of seven against the Hornets and is 22-8 all-time. ... Pippen has 18,329 points.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 93 102
    FGM-FGA 34-75 (.453) 36-74 (.486)
    3PM-3PA 7-13 (.538) 5-11 (.455)
    FTM-FTA 18-22 (.818) 25-38 (.658)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 5-32 12-45
    Assists 19 23
    Turnovers 11 8
    Steals 4 8
    Blocks 3 7
    Fast Break Points 4 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (0/0) 18 (3/0)

    Top Performers

    New Orleans
    Jamal Mashburn Mashburn
    Points: 22
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Bonzi Wells Wells
    Points: 30
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2