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Barkley Makes Phoenix Return a Rebounding Success With 33

November 03, 1996|From Associated Press

Leave it to Charles Barkley to know when to put on a show.

Barkley came up with one of the best games of his career Saturday night, grabbing a career-high 33 rebounds and scoring 20 points to lead the Houston Rockets to a 110-95 victory over the Suns, his former team, at Phoenix.

"He was a man possessed," Houston Coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "He has been talking about being a rebounder like this since his first day in Houston."

The 33 rebounds were the most in an NBA game since Rony Seikaly had 34 for the Miami Heat against Washington on March 3, 1993.

Hakeem Olajuwon had 24 points and Clyde Drexler had 22 for Houston. Sam Cassell scored 22 and Michael Finley added 16 for the Suns.

Chicago 115, Philadelphia 86--After their championship banner almost fell while it was raised it to the rafters, the Bulls defeated the 76ers for the 12th consecutive time behind Michael Jordan's 27 points and Scottie Pippen's 22 at Chicago.

Allen Iverson, the top NBA draft choice who had 30 points in the 76ers' opening-night loss to Milwaukee, scored 15.

"It showed that we have a long way to go before we are ready to compete with Chicago," Philadelphia Coach Johnny Davis said. "They literally did whatever they wanted against us. I don't know if we got caught up in the celebration of the Bulls, or what the reason was."

Cleveland 98, Washington 96--Terrell Brandon capped a 31-point performance by making two foul shots with 1.8 seconds left in overtime to carry the Cavaliers at Landover, Md.

Rookie Vitaly Potapenko had 22 for the Cavaliers.

"It's early on, but fortunately tonight we were able to come back," Cleveland Coach Mike Fratello said. "Good teams learn lessons from the early games. The key for us is to learn from this and grow from it."

Rod Strickland led Washington with 16 points and Chris Webber had 15 points and nine rebounds.

Detroit 90, Atlanta 78--Grant Hill had 22 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists, and Lindsey Hunter scored 10 of his 15 points in a third-quarter burst that powered the Pistons over the Hawks before a sellout crowd of 16,378 at Atlanta.

The 78 points were the fewest the Hawks had scored in a home opener. The previous low was 87 in 1991, also against the Pistons.

"I don't know what our problem is. But whatever it is, we've got to have a little bit of patience," Atlanta Coach Lenny Wilkens said. "We've got a lot of new guys and we just haven't gotten in sync with them yet."

Miami 97, Indiana 95--Alonzo Mourning scored 27 points and Tim Hardaway had 25, including a jumper for the winning basket with 51.6 seconds to play to give Pat Riley his 800th coaching victory in the Heat's first-ever victory at Indianapolis.

"They tried to mess my hair up," said Riley, who needed only 1,139 games to reach the milestone faster than any other coach in league history.

"They couldn't get through the concrete. I think Tim [Hardaway] broke his hand trying. I feel good. The 15 years have gone by very fast, 800 is a lot of wins and I had some great players."

Milwaukee 124, Boston 102--Glenn Robinson and Johnny Newman scored 21 points each and Vin Baker and Ray Allen added 18 to lead the Bucks at Milwaukee.

"Yeah, it was special. But it was even more special, I think, because it was our home opener," said Milwaukee Coach Chris Ford, who formerly coached and played for the Celtics.

"We had to show the folks that we really want to turn things around here, that these guys are going to be willing, over an 82-game schedule, to pay the price. Dive for loose balls, cover for one another, just hustle and scrap. If we do, we're going to win our fair share of games. We owe that to them."

Boston, which lost for the second consecutive night, was led by rookie Antoine Walker with 23 points and Todd Day with 21, but most of their points came after the Bucks had taken control.

Sacramento 107, Dallas 94--Mitch Richmond scored 24 points and Tyus Edney 23 for the Kings as they spoiled the home debut of Maverick Coach Jim Cleamons.

Dallas was led by Jim Jackson with 26 points, George McCloud with 17 and Tony Dumas with 13. Derek Harper, back with the team he spent most of his career with, had 10.

Charlotte 109, Toronto 98--Dell Curry set a team record by making 11 consecutive field-goal attempts during the second and third quarters and finished with a career-high 38 points to help Dave Cowens win his coaching debut for the Hornets at Charlotte.

Point guard Muggsy Bogues, who was limited to six games last year due to a knee injury, limped through much of the second half but finished with eight points and 10 assists.

Seattle 104, Portland 93--Shawn Kemp had 24 points and made all 14 free throws for the SuperSonics, who also got 23 points from Detlef Schrempf and 18 from Gary Payton, at Seattle.

Isaiah Rider had 21 points and Cliff Robinson 17 for the Trail Blazers, who opened their season with a victory over Vancouver on Friday night.

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