<
>

Wells scores 26 of 29 in first half of rout

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- There were no brawls, but a lot of Bonzi.

Bonzi Wells scored 29 points, 26 in the first half alone, as the
Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Golden State Warriors 125-98
Wednesday night in the first meeting between the teams since a
postgame fracas Dec. 20.

Portland bounded to a 76-49 halftime lead, the most first-half
points scored in the NBA this season, en route to its third
consecutive win. The Blazers led by as many as 33 points, and their
final point total was a season high.

Wells, who ranks second on the team in scoring but has struggled
of late, said it was time to get out of his slump.

"It felt good,'' he said. "All of my shots were falling. I
wasn't used to it. It kind of scared me.''

Golden State's Antawn Jamison, who played for just 16 minutes,
was scoreless as the Warriors lost their third straight. Gilbert
Arenas had 22 points.

"This is the same team that beat us on the last shot and we had
a rumble with,'' Arenas said. "We came out like it never happened.
They came out hungry.''

That brawl broke out after Rasheed Wallace's 16-foot jumper won
it 113-111. Wells and Chris Mills scuffled, Wallace tried to charge
into the stands after a fan apparently threw a wad of gum at him,
and Mills reportedly blocked the Blazers' bus with his car as the
team was headed to the airport.

There was little outward friction between the two teams
Wednesday night as the Blazers jumped out to a 44-21 lead in the
first quarter, paced by Wells' 18 points.

"I wish we could get more games like this,'' Portland's Scottie
Pippen said.

Late in the first quarter, Danny Fortson was called for a
flagrant foul after swatting back Wells as he went for a layup.
Wells lay on the court holding his face for several moments before
getting up to make both free throws.

After Wells accumulated 26 points in the first 15 minutes, he
rested the rest of the half.

Trail Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks praised Wells' calm under
pressure.

"I think he did a good job of staying composed, even when he
took some hard fouls,'' Cheeks said. "He didn't say anything, he
just went to the line and hit free throws.''

Warriors coach Eric Musselman was so frustrated by calls in the
final quarter that he implored loudly to the referees: "What's
happening?''

A fan at the Rose Garden responded: "You're losing.''

Musselman said the game was already lost in the first quarter.

"We've been a poor defensive first-quarter team all year,'' he
said. "They got hot and blew the game open in the first 12
minutes.''

It was the Warriors' 10th straight loss at the Rose Garden.

The previous high for first-half points was 71 by the Memphis
Grizzlies against the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 3.

Game notes
Before the game, Musselman addressed a rumor that the
Warriors were pursuing Pippen in exchange for Erick Dampier,
Fortson and Mills. He laughed: "I'm just the coach of the team,''
Musselman said. "Just give me 12 guys and I'll show up tomorrow
and coach them.'' ... The Blazers' 44 first-quarter points were the
team's season high for any quarter this season. ... Portland
reserve guard Damon Stoudamire left the game in the first half,
sparking speculation about a trade. But the team reported he went
to the training room because he wasn't feeling well. Stoudamire
returned in the third quarter.

ESPN Fan Shop Powered By

  • adidas Men's Golden State Warriors Steph Curry Replica White Basketball JerseyPrice: $70.00 Shop

  • adidas Youth Portland Trail Blazers Damian Lillard #0 Road Black Replica JerseyShop

NBA News