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Trail Blazers Left at Wits' End

March 09, 2001|From Associated Press

The San Antonio Spurs are making the kind of late-season surge that started their march toward the 1999 championship.

Meanwhile, the Portland Trail Blazers are showing signs of self-destructing, and once again they're facing questions about Rasheed Wallace and his uncontrollable anger.

Derek Anderson scored 29 points and Tim Duncan had 16 rebounds as the Spurs used a 23-6 run at the start of the third quarter to rout the Trail Blazers, 93-79, Thursday night at Portland, Ore.

"These are the kinds of games that define you, especially down the stretch," said Duncan, who also had 16 points on four-of-16 shooting and six assists. "You've got to win on the road to be able to win in the playoffs."

David Robinson added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Spurs, who have won 19 of 23 games and 10 of 12 on the road. San Antonio finishes its four-game, five-day West Coast trip tonight against the Lakers at Staples Center.

Two years ago, the Spurs won 12 of their last 13 regular-season games, including four of five on the road. During that stretch, they beat Portland three times, Utah twice and the Lakers once.

"We are starting to play like we did two years ago," Robinson said.

Bonzi Wells scored 16 points to lead the Trail Blazers, who were coming off a humiliating home loss to Vancouver on Tuesday night.

Wallace, who did not start because he went to the wrong place for the shootaround and was late, was ejected for the second game in a row and for the fourth time in his last 13 games.

"It's a major problem," said Portland's Detlef Schrempf. "I think it should have been addressed a long time ago, but it hasn't been. (Now) it's too late."

"We've got to find a way to be more composed, and we've got to find a way to keep (Wallace) in the game," Blazer Coach Mike Dunleavy said. "I don't have the answer. I keep looking for it and looking for it."

Wallace, who had only nine points and five rebounds, was in a bad mood throughout because of foul trouble, and referee Steve Javie finally had enough of his arguing. Javie issued two technicals to Wallace, the second coming with 4:35 to play after Wallace already had fouled out.

Wallace has a league-high 36 technical fouls, two shy of the record he set last season. He has 11 technicals in his last 13 games.

Moments after Wallace's ejection, Wells and San Antonio's Terry Porter were tossed for a dispute. It was the first ejection of Porter's career, spanning 1,181 games.

Charlotte 97, Orlando 84--Baron Davis had 23 points and nine assists as the Hornets defeated the Magic at Charlotte, N.C., without leading scorer Jamal Mashburn.

Mashburn sat out the game with a bruised sternum, suffered in Tuesday's loss to Minnesota, but the Hornets won for the 10th time in their past 12 games.

Davis hit four of five three-point shots and pulled down five rebounds.

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