PORTLAND, Ore (AP) -- Rasheed Wallace made a statement on the
court in his return from a seven-game suspension, even if he had
little to say off the court.
Wallace was suspended for threatening referee Tim Donaghy after
a game Jan. 15. Portland went 5-2 in Wallace's absence. Wallace did
speak with the media after the game, but only offered variations on
``It was a good game, both teams played hard,'' as an answer to
"I knew he would come right out," Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks
said. "I didn't know he would make the shots that he made, but I
knew he would come out right away."
"I thought he would have a great game," Blazers reserve guard
Jeff McInnis said. "He was making his shots like he was never
gone. We're going to make sure he's aggressive because he has the
freshest legs of all of us."
Said guard Bonzi Wells: "I knew he was going to come out
aggressive. We told him 'You came off a 38-point game, you better
have a 30-point game.'"
"I doubt if I'll play tomorrow," a despondent Fizer said. "I
went to plant with the right to go left; but when I planted, it
jolted out to the right and I felt it pop."
Portland took control of the game early in the third quarter
with runs of 10-2 and 11-2 to put them up by as many as 16. But the
Bulls rallied a bit toward the end of the quarter, trailing by 11
heading into the final period.
"We just weren't able to establish anything down low
offensively, and that made us more of a perimeter team than I
like," Chicago coach Bill Cartwright said. "They really hurt us
on the boards."
The Blazers gradually pulled away from Chicago in the opening
minutes of the fourth, thanks to the play of reserves Damon
Stoudamire and Sabonis. Portland led by as many as 18 before
garbage time set in.
"It was just tough to overcome that emotion with Rasheed coming
back," Rose said. "He was knocking down shots all over the floor.
In the third quarter it was just too much Rasheed Wallace."
Stoudamire finished with four points, six assists and five
rebounds in 21 minutes.
Neither team played particularly well nor particularly poorly in
an unremarkable first half, other than the return of Wallace.
Portland dominated the boards in the first half, 27-11, and for
the game, 48-34.
Chicago activated rookie guard Jay Williams from the injured
list prior to the game.
Williams, the No. 2 overall pick from Duke, went on the injured
list Jan. 20 with a left ankle sprain. He had seven points and four
assists in 22 minutes.
"I felt a little out of sync, but after five games out you can
expect that," Williams said. "I'll just have to assert myself a
little more as time goes on."
The Bulls placed rookie forward Lonny Baxter on the injured
list with left knee tendinitis to make room for Williams. ...
Blazers reserve Antonio Daniels missed his second straight game
with a right ankle sprain. Daniels suffered the injury Jan. 24 at
New Orleans and aggravated it during Tuesday's game versus Denver,
leaving the game after playing just 1 minute. ... Due to the length
of the Wallace suspension, the league allowed Portland to activate
veteran center Chris Dudley from the injured list. Dudley returned
there Friday with Wallace's activation from the suspended list.