<
>

Pippen earns first double-double of the season

2/4/2003

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Tuesday night felt like old times for
Portland's Scottie Pippen.

Pippen had his first double-double of the year with 25 points
and 17 rebounds, both season-highs, and added seven assists in the
Trail Blazers' 96-89 victory over the Orlando Magic.

"Yeah, I turned (the clock) back a little bit," Pippen said.
"The atmosphere and just playing in this type of climate just
wills a team. For me, it was just good to go out and feel good
playing again and feel like your legs are there. Just one of those
nights I enjoy playing."

Portland coach Maurice Cheeks won't be surprised if Pippen, 37,
produces repeat performances during the season's final stretch.

"I don't think that people underestimate him that much now,"
Cheeks said. "He's still got a lot left in him. I didn't know, and
I think a lot of people didn't know, how much he had left
overall."

Rasheed Wallace added 15 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and
three blocked shots as Portland defeated Orlando for the eighth
straight time. Bonzi Wells and Ruben Patterson had 12 points each.

A 15-foot jump shot by Wells at 5:08 in the second period broke
a 31-31 tie and the Trail Blazers stayed in the lead the rest of
the way. Portland has won 13 of its last 17 overall.

The game was delayed for several minutes when the shot-clock
buzzer became stuck following a violation on Portland with 2:13
remaining in the game. After the buzzer was fixed, all scoreboards
and shot clocks then malfunctioned. The arena public address
announcer called out the time remaining in the game and shot clock
the remainder of the game.

Cheeks credits his team's defense, particularly the effort Wells
and Ruben Patterson did on containing Orlando's Tracy McGrady.
McGrady's streak of scoring at least 30 points ended at eight games
when he finished with 24 on 10-of-27 shooting. Six of McGrady's
points came on consecutive 3-pointers in the game's final 31.4
seconds when Orlando was playing catch up.

McGrady had three first-half fouls that limited him to 16
minutes in the half and was scoreless in the third quarter on
0-for-3 shooting.

"They both did excellent jobs," Cheeks said of Wells and
Patterson. "When you know that a guy's going to get 25-30 shots a
night, it makes it even tougher. We tried to keep the ball out of
his hands."

Orlando's Mike Miller had 20 points but was 5-of-17 from the
field. He's hit 24 of 81 field-goal attempts over his last five
games. Pat Garrity had 15 points and reserve Darrell Armstrong
added 10.

McGrady agrees the All-Star break is coming at a good time for
the Magic, losers of five of their last six.

"As a matter of fact, it's a good thing the break's here,"
McGrady said. "Give myself and these guys a chance to rest and
gather themselves and think what we have to do for the second half
of the season.

"Somehow, some way, we've got to find a way over this hump,
start winning some basketball games."

Both teams struggled in the third quarter as Orlando outscored
Portland, 19-17. The Magic were 7-for-21 from the field while the
Trail Blazers hit 7-of-19 shots.

A basket by Armstrong closed Portland's lead to 63-61 at the end
of the third but Orlando never threatened in the fourth. Magic fans
began filing out after Damon Stoudamire's 3-pointer that put the
Trail Blazers ahead, 78-66, with 5:58 remaining.

Portland never trailed by fewer than six points the remainder of
the game.

Pippen had 18 first-half points, including 15 in the second
quarter, as Portland led 46-42 at halftime. Orlando shot 36.7
percent from the field and was paced by McGrady's 12 points and 11
from Garrity.

Game notes
Wallace's six assists were a season-high. ... Orlando's
five starters were a combined 27-for-76 from the field. The Magic
shot 37.4 percent overall. ... Portland held a 49-43 rebounding
edge and is 24-5 when outrebounding opponents. ... Portland's 14
first-quarter points were a season-low by a Magic opponent.
by a Magic opponent.

Comments