Blazers' Anderson scores 28 in return from concussion


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Portland Trail Blazers can't seem to shake off trouble, even when they win.

The Trail Blazers routed the Los Angeles Clippers 112-88 Friday night as guard Damon Stoudamire spent the game on the bench.

Derek Anderson returned from a four-game absence, started at point guard and had 28 points and nine rebounds to snap Portland's two-game losing streak.

Andre Miller had 19 points for the Clippers, who trailed by as
many as 34 points.

The latest of Stoudamire's troubles surfaced Tuesday night in Portland's loss to the Houston Rockets when he had heated words with coach Maurice Cheeks in the third quarter and was benched for the rest of the game.

Rumors were swirling earlier Friday when Stoudamire left practice early. Cheeks maintained his absence was for personal reasons and was not job-related. Then Stoudamire, averaging 7.8 points and 4.3 assists, remained seated in favor of Anderson, who sustained a concussion against Memphis on Nov. 6.

Cheeks said he didn't play Stoudamire because he wanted to give more minutes to guard Jeff McInnis, a former Clipper who signed with the Blazers as a free agent during the summer. McInnis played 29 minutes and shot 1-for-7 with seven assists.

"It was not a conscious effort not to play him, but after we got the big lead, I didn't think it was right to put him in,'' Cheeks said. "When it's a 20-point game, there's no reason to do it that way.''

Stoudamire did not appear in the locker room after the game.

Anderson scored 16 points in the first half alone, including a dunk with 5:03 left in the half that put Portland up 50-27. The Blazers led by as many as 26 points before heading into halftime with a 59-39 lead.

"It was fun just knowing that your teammates want you back and that you are definitely appreciated,'' Anderson said. "Guys just really were trying to pick me up, telling me to keep being aggressive.''

The Clippers, who were allowing an average of 98.1 points going into the game, couldn't get much going defensively or offensively.

They couldn't keep up when Wells set the tone for the night with
his fast-break dunk at 7:24 of the first quarter that put the
Blazers up 13-2.

Wells stunned them again late in the third quarter with another
fast-break slam that put Portland up 85-51.

"There's nothing to say. We were awful. I think it's the worst game we've played since I've been here,'' Clippers coach Alvin Gentry said. "They manhandled us, and that's all you can say about it.''

Elton Brand had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Los Angeles.

The Clippers (3-6) have lost seven straight at the Rose Garden.
Their last win in Portland came April 11, 1999.

Game notes
The Trail Blazers, who lost television exposure when team
owner Paul Allen's 24-hour sports cable channel went out of
business earlier this month, have signed a long-term agreement with
Fox Sports Net to televise games regionally. The Blazers also have
a local partnership with KGW-TV. ... Blazers' top scorer Rasheed
Wallace was held to just two points in the first half, and seven
points in the game. Wallace averaged 24.3 over the team's first
three games, but just 13.6 over the past three.