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NBA ROUNDUP : Trail Blazers Hold Back Suns

January 23, 1991|DAN HAFNER

When the Phoenix Suns arrived in Portland for the first meeting of the season in late November, they shocked the red-hot Trail Blazers.

They jumped in front early and never let up, ending Portland's 11-game season-opening winning streak. It was the only loss for the Trail Blazers in their first 20 games.

When the Suns went to Portland Tuesday night, the Trail Blazers were aching for revenge.

They wound up getting it, but it wasn't easy. With Clyde Drexler getting 14 of his 24 points in the first half, the Trail Blazers built a 14-point lead.

The Suns fought back, actually forged ahead in the middle of the fourth quarter before finally losing, 123-116.

The Suns, who trailed by 10 points with 10 minutes left, rallied to take a 105-104 lead on Mark West's dunk with 4:21 left.

But Kevin Duckworth scored the next four points before West's rebound dunk cut the lead to 108-107 with 2:44 left.

Portland's Terry Porter, who scored 23 points, sank a three-point shot from deep in the corner, falling to the floor as the ball swished through the net.

Drexler, who had 10 turnovers to go with 10 assists, converted a three-point play with 1:19 left to make the lead six and end the Suns' hopes.

It was a solid start to the second half of the season for the Trail Blazers, who are 20-2 at home, have won five in a row and lead the Lakers by six games in the Pacific Division.

Seattle 132, Milwaukee 101--The Bucks are almost invincible at home, but on the road, they are just another team.

With Eddie Johnson coming off the bench to make 12 of 14 shots and scoring 29 points, the SuperSonics handed the Bucks their 13th defeat in 20 road games. At home they are 20-1.

The SuperSonics led all the way, building a 59-40 halftime lead, with Dale Ellis scoring 20points.

The SuperSonics jumped in front, 12-2, and the Bucks were never really in the game.

Golden State 123, Houston 116--Chris Mullin had 30 points and a career-high seven steals at as the Warriors held off the stubborn Rockets at Oakland.

The Warriors built a 25-point lead against the Rockets, once again without Akeem Olajuwon, but Kenny Smith brought Houston back.

Smith, who scored a career-high 38 points, got the Rockets even, 111-111. But Tim Hardaway scored 10 points in the last 2 1/2 minutes. It was the Rockets' fifth road loss in a row.

Hardaway and Mitch Richmond each had 26 points for the Warriors, who improved their record to 22-17 and their home-court record to 13-4.

The Warriors made 18 of 27 shots in their 46-point first quarter.

Atlanta 118, Miami 107--The Hawks, while just in fourth place in the Central Division, are making their presence felt.

In a game in which Dominique Wilkins had only seven points, the Hawks easily handled the Heat at Atlanta and won their fifth in a row.

With a 24-15 record the Hawks are only four games behind Chicago, which leads the Central Division.

Wilkins, who took only 10 shots, also had seven rebounds and seven assists. Kevin Willis led the scoring with 29 points, 11 in the third quarter when the Hawks broke it open.

"We are an improved team because of Dominique," teammate Glenn Rivers, who had 21 points, said. "He does all the other things now. If we have to have scoring, though, he'll do that,too."

New Jersey 92, Charlotte 90--Rookie Derrick Coleman had another big game, scoring 27 points and grabbing 15 rebounds at Charlotte, N.C.

But it was a rebound basket by Roy Hinson of the Nets with three seconds left that was decisive in the tight battle.

Coleman's three-point play gave New Jersey a 90-88 lead with 25 seconds left. Johnny Newman tied it on two free throws with 10 seconds remaining.

Reggie Theus missed a 15-foot jumper but Hinson soared to get the rebound and put it backin.

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