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PORTLAND NOTES

Anderson Rebounds From Flu

April 26, 2002|Elliott Teaford

Derek Anderson, a reserve guard who sparked the Trail Blazers when Ruben Patterson and Bonzi Wells were ineffective in Game 1, managed to play 25 minutes Thursday despite not practicing Monday and Tuesday due to stomach flu.

Anderson was able to work out Wednesday, but Trail Blazer Coach Maurice Cheeks didn't declare him fit to play until Thursday.

In fact, Cheeks had been so concerned about the former Clipper that he told Portland reporters Tuesday he would visit his home to deliver a meal and check on him personally. Cheeks ended up calling Anderson instead.

"I'm sure he's going to be a little weaker than he was Sunday," Cheeks said of Anderson, who had 22 points on eight-of-14 shooting in Game 1.

Cheeks planned to test Anderson in Game 2, bringing him in earlier than usual. Anderson entered with 4:50 left in the first quarter. He scored six points in 13 minutes by halftime and finished with 10.

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Center Dale Davis took three shots, making one, and had five rebounds in 24 foul-plagued minutes in Game 1. Cheeks believed it was important to keep Davis on the floor and get him more involved offensively in Game 2. Instead, Davis was ejected in the third quarter after two technical fouls with five points and seven rebounds.

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When a reporter asked Cheeks about coaching his first playoff game, Portland's first-year coach quickly corrected him. "Two playoff games now," he said with a chuckle. "I'm pretty much the same as I was as a player. [Besides], it's not about me, it's about our players on the court."

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