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Trail Blazer Streak Reaches Eight

From Associated Press

Rasheed Wallace heading to the bench in the opening seconds wasn’t exactly how the Portland Trail Blazers wanted to start their quest for an eighth consecutive victory.

In the end, though, it didn’t matter.

After picking up two fouls in the first 42 seconds, Wallace came back to score 19 points, and Bonzi Wells had 17 as the Trail Blazers beat the Detroit Pistons, 85-74, Monday night at Auburn Hills, Mich.

“We didn’t want to have Rasheed on the bench like that, but we responded,” Portland Coach Maurice Cheeks said. “Zach Randolph came in and did a great job. That’s how he has been pretty much all year. He has stepped up and responded when we needed him.”

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Portland blew a 13-point third-quarter lead, allowing Detroit to tie the score at 68-68 with 8:20 left.

The Trail Blazers then scored the next 15 points, holding the Pistons scoreless for over six minutes. Wallace and Dale Davis each had four points in the run, and three other players scored.

“Right now, when adversity strikes, we are coming together like a family,” Wells said. “I’m just a role player; Rasheed’s our guy. I work off him, and whatever I can do to help him, I’ll do it.”

Milwaukee 110, Dallas 107 -- Tim Thomas made a three-pointer from the left corner with 9.9 seconds left at Dallas and the Bucks rallied from a 17-point second-quarter deficit to hand the Mavericks their second home defeat of the season.

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Dirk Nowitzki, who matched his career high with 40 points, made two free throws with 2.9 left to cut the deficit to 109-107, but Thomas made one of two free throws with 2.6 seconds left.

Utah 107, Toronto 85 -- Andrei Kirilenko scored 20 points and blocked five shots at Salt Lake City and the Jazz handed the Raptors their seventh straight loss.

Karl Malone led Utah, which won for the fifth time in six games, with 24 points in 28 minutes. Matt Harpring had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Seattle 79, Denver 77 -- Desmond Mason scored 23 points and Gary Payton had 21 at Seattle to lead the SuperSonics over the Nuggets, who lost their 10th in a row.

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Kenny Anderson’s jumper from the corner made it 73-67 with 2:13 left, and Mason’s two free throws gave Seattle a 79-73 lead with 7.2 seconds left.

Orlando 112, Washington 95 -- Michael Jordan had 21 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in his final regular-season game in Orlando, Fla., but Tracy McGrady scored 32 points as the Magic beat the Wizards.

Pat Garrity had 21 points off the bench and Mike Miller had 20 for Orlando, which has won five of its last six. Darrell Armstrong had eight points and 11 assists, leading the Magic bench to a 47-23 scoring edge over Washington.

New Jersey 102, Cleveland 88 -- Kenyon Martin celebrated his 25th birthday with 28 points and 10 rebounds at East Rutherford, N.J., and the Nets tied a franchise record with their 13th straight home win.

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Jason Kidd had 17 points and 10 assists and Richard Jefferson had 19 points for the Nets, who have won seven in a row overall and 18 of 19 at the Continental Airlines Arena.

Miami 93, Atlanta 84 -- Eddie Jones scored 23 points and Travis Best had 20, including four three-pointers to lead the Heat at Miami.

Rookie Caron Butler scored 21 as Miami won for the sixth time in eight games. It was the first loss for Atlanta under new Coach Terry Stotts, who replaced the fired Lon Kruger on Friday.

New York 96, San Antonio 95 -- Allan Houston scored 28 points, including the game-winning free throws with 5.4 seconds left at New York, and Michael Doleac had a season-high 16 to lead the Knicks.

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Tim Duncan, who had 31 points and 17 rebounds, made a short jumper while being fouled with 6.8 seconds left. His free throw gave the Spurs a 95-94 lead.

Minnesota 104, Phoenix 98 -- Kevin Garnett had 22 points and 14 rebounds at Minneapolis and the Timberwolves ended the Suns’ five-game winning streak.

Rookie Amare Stoudemire had a season-high 38 points and had 14 rebounds for the Suns.

Golden State 104, Philadelphia 98 -- Jason Richardson scored 26 points, including four free throws in the final minute, and the Warriors won at Oakland for their third straight win.

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Allen Iverson missed four shots in the last 2:16 and had his second consecutive poor shooting game, finishing eight for 23 for 23 points. The 76ers have lost six in a row on the road.


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