Sonics find sweet victory in Hornets' nest

Posted: Friday, November 10, 2000

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Vin Baker scored 22 points and Rashard Lewis added 19 as the Seattle SuperSonics got their first road win of the season, 102-94 over the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday night.

Seattle, which opened the season 0-3 on the road, nearly squandered a 14-point fourth-quarter lead.

Gary Payton finished with 17 points and Patrick Ewing had 13 for the SuperSonics.

Jamal Mashburn led Charlotte with 25 points. Derrick Coleman, who missed more than a month because of an irregular heartbeat, had 18 points and 11 rebounds in 35 minutes.

The Hornets lost guard Baron Davis midway though the game with a strained hamstring.

Pistons 108, Nets 94

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jerry Stackhouse scored 29 points and Chucky Atkins added a career-high 26 points as Detroit broke a four-game losing streak by beating New Jersey.

Veteran center Eric Montross had season-highs of 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Pistons, who never trailed and won for the first time since opening night.

Stephon Marbury had 32 points and Stephen Jackson added 15 for the Nets, who were without Kendall Gill. Gill is sidelined with tendinitis in his right knee.

76ers 84, Timberwolves 82

MINNEAPOLIS -- Eric Snow had 16 of his 22 points in the second half and Allen Iverson added 18 points as Philadelphia became the first NBA team to reach six wins.

The 76ers, off to their best start since 1979-80, are one of three undefeated teams remaining in the league, with Cleveland and Utah being the others.

Philadelphia used a 14-8 run over the last 4:11 to overtake the Timberwolves.

Chauncey Billups had 18 of his 20 points in the second half for Minnesota. Kevin Garnett scored 14 of his 24 points in the first half.

Suns 88, Hawks 79

PHOENIX -- Jason Kidd had 19 points, 12 assists and 13 rebounds for his 33rd career triple-double as Phoenix beat Atlanta for its fifth straight victory.

Shawn Marion added 24 points, 13 rebounds and five blocked shots for Phoenix. Cliff Robinson scored 15 points and Rodney Rogers added 14.

Dikembe Mutombo, playing his first game since recovering from malaria, had 15 points and 17 rebounds in 34 minutes for the Hawks, whose 0-6 start is their worst ever.

Jim Jackson scored 17 and Alan Henderson 11 for Atlanta.

Bulls 95, Magic 90

CHICAGO -- Ron Mercer recorded season-highs with 23 points and 10 rebounds as Chicago beat Orlando for its first victory of the season.

Michael Ruffin grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds and added 10 points. A.J. Guyton scored 18 points and Marcus Fizer added 14 for the Bulls, who snapped a four-game losing streak.

Tracy McGrady shot 9-for-19 and finished with 21 points for Orlando. Michael Doleac and Pat Garrity scored 15 and 14 points, respectively. Darrell Armstrong had 13.

Rockets 85, Grizzlies 78

HOUSTON -- Steve Francis scored seven of his 19 points in the decisive fourth period as Houston beat Vancouver. The Rockets broke the game open with an 11-6 at the start of the fourth quarter.

Maurice Taylor led Houston with 21 points. Cuttino Mobley contributed 15 and Walt Williams added 13.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim led Vancouver with 17 points. Michael Dickerson scored 16, Othella Harrington added 12 and Mike Bibby finished with 10.

Trail Blazers 107, Nuggets 91

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Trail Blazers emerged from their offensive slumber, getting coach Mike Dunleavy off their backs.

Steve Smith, Bonzi Wells and Dale Davis each scored 17 points as the Portland Trail Blazers finally put together a complete game and defeated the weary Denver Nuggets 107-91 Thursday night.

''I think we're getting the rough edges smoothed out,'' said Shawn Kemp, who added 15 points and four assists before fouling out. ''We shared the ball. I think that's the direction we need to go in.''

Portland had looked old and slow on offense the first five games, averaging only 87.4 points per game -- third-worst in the league. Dunleavy scolded his players for their effort in an ugly win over Atlanta on Tuesday night, saying ''nobody is guaranteed minutes.''

His mood improved considerably after seeing the stat sheet from Thursday's win: 31 assists against just 11 turnovers, and six players in double figures.

''That's the kind of balance we like,'' Dunleavy said. ''We showed good ball movement and good patience on our execution.''

Rasheed Wallace had 15 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals for the Blazers, and Damon Stoudamire had 15 points and 10 assists. Stoudamire ran the offense well and was strong at the other end, something he's not known for.

''Damon did a great job tonight,'' Dunleavy said. ''I was particularly pleased with him working the ball, making them use up the clock.''

The Blazers won their second straight to improve to 3-3, tying the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers for third place in the Pacific Division.

The Nuggets, who needed a last-second shot to beat Minnesota on Wednesday night, were led by Nick Van Exel's 23 points. Antonio McDyess had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Denver pulled to 64-62 on a 3-pointer by Tariq Abdul-Wahad with 5:28 left in the third quarter. Smith scored six of the next eight points for the Blazers, and his dunk on a feed from Stoudamire pushed the lead to 72-64.

A basket by McDyess to open the fourth quarter cut the lead to 81-74, but Portland responded with a 12-4 run, and Kemp's 22-foot jumper put it away at 95-78 with 5:48 to go.

''We had our chances, but we didn't finish off the end of the third, and didn't start the fourth the way we should have,'' Van Exel said. ''That was pretty much the turning point of the game.''

The Blazers took an early 18-7 lead, but the Nuggets stayed in it by hitting from the outside. After missing its first seven shots from 18 feet and beyond, Denver made eight of the next 12, and George McCloud scored 11 points in the period.

Voshon Lenard's 3-pointer cut the lead to 39-36, but he was taken out because he couldn't stop Wells, who scored the Blazers' last nine points of the second quarter.

''That's what I do. That's my M.O.,'' Wells said of his moves to the basket. ''Sometimes, when you're aggressive, some guys tend to shy down a little bit.''

Late in the first half, Wells was double-teamed and dished to Stacey Augmon, who whipped a no-look pass back to Wells for a tough layup. He got knocked to the floor and made his free throw for a 50-41 halftime lead.

Notes: The Blazers appear ready to activate center Arvydas Sabonis sometime during their upcoming seven-game road trip, which begins Monday in New Jersey. Sabonis had surgery on his left knee Oct. 13 but worked hard in the shootaround before the game and was the last Blazer to leave the floor. ... The Blazers are 44-10 against the Nuggets in Portland. ... ... Nuggets forward Tracy Murray still can't get much playing time. He didn't get in for the fourth time in six games and has played just 15 minutes. ... Portland's Scottie Pippen scored just three points on 1-of-5 shooting.

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