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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- WASHINGTON 19 24 22 34 99 PORTLAND 18 23 27 19 87 FINAL


WASHINGTON (99) AT PORTLAND (87)

WASHINGTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

WEBBER F 36 4-14 3-10 3 8 11 5 6 3 2 11 HOWARD F 42 10-21 4-5 1 2 3 2 2 1 1 24 DAVIS C 14 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 0 2 2 0 0 STRICKLAND G 30 2-5 10-10 1 1 2 5 1 3 4 14 CHEANEY G 32 3-7 2-2 2 4 6 3 1 2 0 8 WALLACE 26 4-6 3-4 2 3 5 1 5 1 0 11 T MURRAY 30 7-16 7-7 0 4 4 1 2 0 3 23 WHITNEY 18 1-4 5-6 0 4 4 9 0 0 1 8 GRANT 7 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 EACKLES 5 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 HAM DNP - COACH'S DECISION SHAMMGOD DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 31-75 34-44 9 28 37 26 21 12 11 99 (.413) (.773) TEAM REBS: 18 TOTAL TO: 13(13 PTS)

PORTLAND REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

ONEAL F 26 5-6 0-1 3 2 5 0 3 0 1 10 B GRANT F 33 6-13 0-0 3 2 5 1 5 0 1 12 SABONIS C 36 4-12 6-10 2 13 15 2 5 1 4 14 G GRANT G 28 6-11 0-0 1 2 3 8 4 3 5 12 RIDER G 31 5-17 0-0 0 4 4 1 4 0 3 10 AUGMON 20 2-5 1-2 3 1 4 1 2 0 3 5 CATO 22 1-5 3-3 1 3 4 1 6 2 1 5 WILLIAMS 24 4-10 5-6 2 2 4 0 3 2 2 14 CROTTY 20 2-5 0-0 0 1 1 4 1 0 1 5 BRUNSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION LISTER DNP - COACH'S DECISION WALLACE DNP - DEATH IN FAMILY

TOTALS 240 35-84 15-22 15 30 45 18 33 8 21 87 (.417) (.682) TEAM REBS: 10 TOTAL TO: 21(22 PTS)

WASHINGTON 19 24 22 34 - 99 PORTLAND 18 23 27 19 - 87

BLOCKED SHOTS: WASHINGTON - CHEANEY, T MURRAY. PORTLAND - B GRANT 2, WILLIAMS 2, ONEAL, SABONIS. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: WASHINGTON 3-11 (.273), WEBBER 0-2, CHEANEY 0-1, T MURRAY 2-4, WHITNEY 1-3, GRANT 0-1. PORTLAND 2-12 (.167), G GRANT 0-3, RIDER 0-4, WILLIAMS 1-4, CROTTY 1-1. TECHNICALS: WASHINGTON - STRICKLAND 2 (EJECTED). OFFICIALS: DICK BAVETTA, DAVID JONES, KEVIN FEHR. A - 21,538. T - 2:18.


WASHINGTON (99) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Webber 36 4-14 3-10 3-11 5 6 11 Howard 42 10-21 4-5 1-3 2 2 24 Davis 14 0-1 0-0 0-2 0 2 0 Strickland 30 2-5 10-10 1-2 5 1 14 Cheaney 32 3-7 2-2 2-6 3 1 8 Wallace 26 4-6 3-4 2-5 1 5 11 T Murray 30 7-16 7-7 0-4 1 2 23 Whitney 18 1-4 5-6 0-4 9 0 8 Grant 7 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 2 0 Eackles 5 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Ham DNP - coach's decision Shammgod DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 31-75 34-44 9-37 26 21 99 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.413, FT-.773. 3-Point Goals: 3-11, .273 (Webber 0-2, Cheaney 0-1, T Murray 2-4, Whitney 1-3, Grant 0-1). Team rebounds: 18. Blocked shots: 2 (Cheaney, T Murray). Turnovers: 13 (Strickland 4, T Murray 3, Webber 2, Howard, Whitney). Steals: 12 (Strickland 3, Webber 3, Cheaney 2, Davis 2, Howard, Wallace).

PORTLAND (87) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Oneal 26 5-6 0-1 3-5 0 3 10 B Grant 33 6-13 0-0 3-5 1 5 12 Sabonis 36 4-12 6-10 2-15 2 5 14 G Grant 28 6-11 0-0 1-3 8 4 12 Rider 31 5-17 0-0 0-4 1 4 10 Augmon 20 2-5 1-2 3-4 1 2 5 Cato 22 1-5 3-3 1-4 1 6 5 Williams 24 4-10 5-6 2-4 0 3 14 Crotty 20 2-5 0-0 0-1 4 1 5 Brunson DNP - coach's decision Lister DNP - coach's decision Wallace DNP - death in family _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 35-84 15-22 15-45 18 33 87 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.417, FT-.682. 3-Point Goals: 2-12, .167 (G Grant 0-3, Rider 0-4, Williams 1-4, Crotty 1-1). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 6 (B Grant 2, Williams 2, Oneal, Sabonis). Turnovers: 21 (G Grant 5, Sabonis 4, Augmon 3, Rider 3, Williams 2, B Grant, Cato, Crotty, Oneal). Steals: 8 (G Grant 3, Cato 2, Williams 2, Sabonis). ____________________________________________ Washington 19 24 22 34 - 99 Portland 18 23 27 19 - 87 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Washington 2 (Strickland 2 (ejected), 2:39 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 21,538. T: 2:18. Officials: Dick Bavetta, David Jones, Kevin Fehr.


GAME RECAP

Tracy Murray scored 15 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and fueled the decisive run as the Washington Wizards took sole possession of the final Eastern Conference playoff spot with a 99-87 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Washington was trailing, 77-73, with eight minutes to play when Murray sank a pair of foul shots to spark the pivotal 16-2 burst. Chris Whitney followed with a three-pointer and, after Brian Grant answered with a layup, Murray sank all three free throws after getting fouled on a three-pointer to put Washington ahead for good, 81-79, with 5:18 to go.

Juwan Howard had a pair of baskets in the spurt and finished with 24 points for Washington, which moved one game in front of Orlando and New Jersey for eighth place in the East. Whitney, who took over at point guard when former Blazer Rod Strickland was ejected for arguing in the third quarter, capped the burst with a free throw to build the lead to 89-79 with 2:36 remaining.

Whitney handed out nine assists and scored all eight of his points in the fourth quarter as the Wizards improved to 2-0 on their five-game road trip.

"We all had to pull together after we lost Rod," Murray said. "Whitney played real big for us. Everybody needs to step it up. We are fighting for our lives and we got a big win."

Arvydas Sabonis and Walt Williams scored 14 points apiece for the Trail Blazers, who have lost three straight games and own just a one-game lead over Houston for sixth place in the Western Conference.

Sabonis pulled down 15 rebounds to lead Portland to a 45-37 edge on the boards. But the shorthanded Blazers made just 15-of-22 free throws while Washington went 34-of-44 from the line. The Wizards hit 15-of-16 foul shots in the final period, including a 7-of-7 effort from Murray.

"Our guys stepped up tonight," Wizards coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "With Rod out of the game and Web (Chris Webber) in foul trouble, I've got to give our guys a lot of credit. They showed a lot of heart with good decisions and getting key rebounds."

Portland was without starting point guard Damon Stoudamire, who has been sidelined with a sprained ankle, and forward Rasheed Wallace, who was not with the team due to the death of his grandfather. The situation got worse when forward Jermaine O'Neal left the game in the third quarter after hyperextending his right knee. Coach Mike Dunleavy was forced to use his 27th different starting lineup this season.

"Naturally I'm disappointed and we were playing short without Damon and Rasheed, then losing Jermaine," Dunleavy said. "But it does us no good to make excuses. We need wins, we need to be smarter. We shouldn't give in to adversity and we have guys deep on the bench. It's on the job training for a lot of our guys right now."

After Howard hit a turnaround jumper, Whitney fed Ben Wallace for a three-point play that increased the advantage to 86-79. Howard followed with a baseline jumper before Whitney hit his free throw.

"We have a lot of talent, and while others are struggling, we need to win some games," Howard said. "We need to put up or shut up."

Williams ended the Blazers' drought with a pair of foul shots, but Murray answered with a 17-footer and Howard made two free throws to make it 93-81 with 1:03 to go.

The Wizards pulled away in the game's final minutes despite playing without Strickland and leading scorer Webber, who fouled out with 2:13 to go after posting 11 points and 11 rebounds. Webber had led Washington in scoring in each of the last six games, having averaged 25.8 points during that stretch.

"It had to be one of the worst experiences with a ref that I've ever had," Strickland said of his ejection. "I said nothing to him to warrant either one of the (technicals). The first he gave to me because I said that Gary (Grant) was riding me, and so he wouldn't really answer me. So I told him again. The next conversation was about how could you give me the technical for asking about a call."

Strickland hit all 10 of his foul shots and finished with 14 points while Wallace scored a career-high 11 as Washington won its third straight road game. The Wizards improved to 9-2 against the Pacific Division and 18-7 against the Western Conference overall.

Brian Grant finished with 12 points and Gary Grant contributed a season-high 12 for the Blazers, who committed 21 turnovers and made just 2-of-12 three-pointers.

The Wizards led 43-41 at the break after a tight first half. Portland took a 68-65 edge into the final period, but fell to 30-6 when leading after three quarters.

Despite the defeat, the Blazers need just two more wins or two more losses by the Sacramento Kings to clinch a playoff berth for the 16th straight season.

"At the end of the season, all of the teams on our schedule are fighting for a playoff berth," Brian Grant said. "We'd better step up or we could be watching the playoffs at home."

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