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Portland Chops Down Warriors


Once again, the Portland Trail Blazers found a way to win.

Improving their best-in-the-NBA record to 21-5, the Blazers defeated the Golden State Warriors 79-72 Tuesday night behind Isaiah Rider's 15 points.

"Man, we won, whether it was ugly or pretty, we won the game," said Portland's Damon Stoudamire. "That's all that matters. We shut them down at the end."

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  • The Warriors, who were led by Jason Caffey's 18 points and 11 rebounds, rallied to cut the Blazers' lead to 74-72 with 3:17 left in the game.

    But Golden State missed its last five shots while Rider and Rasheed Wallace each made a pair of free throws for the win.

    "Some the shots were good and some of them weren't," coach P.J. Carlesimo said of the Warriors' late drought. "But our guys played very, very well. A lot of teams aren't coming in here and staying close late in the fourth quarter."

    Arvydas Sabonis had 14 rebounds and 11 points. Brian Grant added 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Blazers, who have won 12 of 13 at home.

    Bimbo Coles scored 17 points for the Warriors.

    Neither team shot well for most of the game, especially in the fourth quarter when the Blazers made only 3 of 15 and the Warriors 7 of 21. For the game, the Warriors shot 31 percet and the Blazers 35.6 percent from the field.

    "It's never easy, and tonight, this (the Warriors) was a determined team," Grant said. "They came in here and wanted to win this game. Their defense was tough. I think we just wanted it a little bit more and our depth helped, too."

    Early in the third quarter the Blazers used a 13-2 run to take a 51-40 lead on Sabonis' hook with 7:34 left in the period. With Rider scoring 11 points in the quarter, the Blazers took a 65-57 lead into the fourth.

    But the Warriors rallied behind a pair of 22-foot jumpers by John Starks and cut the Blazers' lead to 74-72 with 3:17 remaining on five straight points by Donyell Marshall. The Warriors had a shot at a tie, but Coles missed a 15-foot shot with 1:33 left in the game and Wallace made two free throws 14 seconds later for a four-point Blazers lead.

    The Warriors still had chance until Starks missed his 15th shot in 20 attempts and Rider made two free throws with 22 seconds to put the game out of reach.

    "When Starks started heating up, making those two shots, oh, I just hoped the clock would go to double zero because he gets to hitting and it could be overtime or a loss," Grant said. "But nothing seemed to being going down for very long and we locked down on them in the last couple of minutes to come out with the win."

    Notes:

    • The Blazers had six sellouts in their first 12 games, compared to six in its first 25 games a year ago. They have filled 96 percent of the Rose Garden's 19,980 capacity.
    • Bill Musselman took over for Blazers head coach Mike Dunleavy, who was home sick.
    • The Warriors were outrebounded 50-45 by the Blazers, but they continue to lead the NBA in total rebounds (48.58).

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