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Blazers Blow Over Celtics 121-96

Kenny Anderson says he has no hard feelings about leaving the Portland Trail Blazers.

His new team had a hard time with the Blazers on Sunday night.

Arvydas Sabonis had 23 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists as the Blazers ruined Anderson's return to the Rose Garden with a 121-96 victory over the road-weary Boston Celtics.

Portland outscored the Celtics 24-16 in the second quarter and led by as many as 19 points in the period. The Celtics were playing their eighth road game in 12 days.

Anderson, traded to Boston after refusing to report to the Raptors following a deal that sent him to Toronto, had 14 points and eight assists against his ex-team.

"I leave here with no bad blood, and I'm not giving anybody bad blood," Anderson said.

Anderson, who scored 19 points to lead the Celtics to a win over the Seattle SuperSonics Friday night, said he is happy to be playing for coach Rick Pitino.

"With this system I think I can be a great player," Anderson said. "I need to play a lot of minutes right now to get into shape. It's an honor to be playing for him (Pitino)."

Said Pitino, "Anderson is going to be a great player, but he has to get in shape. I love his game and his skills. He's learned more in a few days defensively than some who have been with us all year. I'm very happy with his game."

Rasheed Wallace said he enjoyed playing against Anderson.

"It was cool," Wallace said. "I was out there joking with him on the floor, because that's my man and everything."

The Celtics, however, couldn't handle the overall games of Sabonis, Wallace and Damon Stoudamire, who was part of the trade that sent Anderson to Toronto.

While Sabonis was two assists short of a triple-double, Wallace and Stoudamire were equally involved in Portland's 47-rebound, 32-assist performance. Stoudamire had 17 points, nine assists and six rebounds, and Wallace added 14 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

Boston was led by rookie Ron Mercer's 28 points, which matched his career high. Antoine Walker scored 17.

After leading by 13 at halftime, the Blazers settled the outcome early in the third quarter when Rasheed Wallace scored six points during a 2:17 span.

Mercer's outside shooting helped the Celtics score 27 points in the quarter, but they couldn't stop the Blazers, who totaled 33. Portland took an 87-68 lead into the fourth quarter.

Stoudamire said its a pleasure playing with Sabonis.

"He's a great ballplayer," he said. "He was scoring down low, he was passing, he was rebounding. Games like this are tailor-made for him, teams that don't have as many big guys. He sits down there, just kind of camps out, and gets easy buckets."

The game turned in Portland's favor after Mercer's basket ended a 6-0 Celtics run that gave them a 33-32 lead with 9:50 left in the second quarter.

Walt Williams, another new acquisition, fueled an 11-0 Blazers run with seven poins, and the Celtics never recovered. Portland outscored the Celtics 22-8 during the last 9:14 of the quarter for a 54-41 lead at halftime.

The Blazers outrebounded the Celtics 47-26, including 18 offensive rebounds. Wallace had 10 rebounds, while Stoudamire had six to go with his nine assists and three steals.

Mercer was Boston's only consistent scorer, shooting 11-for-19 from the field mostly on 15-20 footers off screens. He also was 6-for-6 from the foul line.

Notes: Isaiah Rider sat out with the flu, the Blazers said. He now has missed seven games this season due to illness or suspension. ... The Blazers started their 22nd different starting lineup. Coach Mike Dunleavy has started 15 of the 19 players on the roster this season. ... The Celtics were 3-5 on the road trip. ... The Blazers' 122 points was the most scored against Boston this season. The previous high was 118 by Utah and the Los Angeles Lakers.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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