TORONTO, Dec. 8 (Ticker) --
The snow swirling outside the Air Canada
Centre did nothing to cool off Bonzi Wells
and the Portland
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Wells scored a season-high 29 points and the Trail Blazers shot
59 percent from the field as they opened a five-game road trip
with a 104-91 victory over the Toronto Raptors.
More than holding his own against Vince Carter
, Wells made
12-of-18 shots as he scored more than 20 points for the first
time since November 15 against the Los Angeles Clippers. His
hot hand powered Portland, which made 41-of-70 shots.
"Every day I feel like it's going to be my day, but I'm a team
player and sometimes have to take a back seat," said Wells, who
had a brief courtside chat with actor Delroy Lindo during the
third quarter. "Coach really came to me today. I got a lot of
transition buckets, hit a couple spot-ups and I was just happy
they went down for me."
"He was excellent," Portland coach Maurice Cheeks said. "He
made shots, he defended, he tried to defend Vince Carter as much
as you can."
The Blazers made 5-of-10 3-pointers, including three early in
the fourth quarter that doubled the lead to 14 points and gave
them control of the game for good.
"We made some timely 3-pointers, 3-pointers that allowed us to
pull away a little bit," Cheeks said. "But really, that's not
our game. We'll take them if they're there."
made 6-of-9 shots for 20 points and Derek
sank 7-of-10 for 18 for Portland, which has won five
straight visits to Toronto. The last time it lost here was
January 28, 1997, when current Blazer Damon Stoudamire
for the Raptors.
Portland's longest trip of the season resumes Tuesday with four
games in five nights against Washington, New Jersey, Milwaukee
"Today was a good team effort; everybody seemed to be hitting
and playing and we're just happy we started this trip out with a
victory," Wells said.
Carter scored 25 points and Morris Peterson
added 22 for the
Raptors, who have lost six of their last seven home games to
fall to 4-6 at the Air Canada Centre.
Toronto was without injured center Antonio Davis
, a late scratch
with a swollen right knee. It showed as the Raptors were
outscored 44-18 in the paint and had no answer for the interior
offense of the Blazers.
"It is tough to have his scoring, his presence and his
rebounding absent," Carter said. "It is important for us as a
team to pull it together and everybody has to step up their game
another level as long as we can until he gets back."
"We knew Antonio Davis wasn't going to play today, so it was
going to be a little light on the inside," Wells said. "We made
it a focus of our meeting pregame that we wanted to get it down
low and try to take advantage of them missing their big player
in the middle and use our size to our advantage."
The Blazers took the lead for good at 27-25 on a jumper by
Stoudamire, who was booed every time he touched the ball. Wells
had 14 points at halftime, offsetting 15 by Carter and helping
Portland build a 58-52 lead.
"They shot the ball extremely well in the first half and it kept
them right there," Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said. "Their
front line was a little stronger than ours and they hurt us
Toronto got within 75-73 with 4:19 left in the third quarter on
a 3-pointer by Alvin Williams
, who had 17 points and seven
assists. Wells answered with a basket and two free throws and
Anderson converted a three-point play before the Raptors closed
to 82-75 entering the final period.
Anderson and Wallace made 3-pointers 37 seconds apart to open
the fourth quarter. After a basket by Voshon Lenard
ran down a loose ball in the backcourt following a wild
scramble and found Anderson, who beat the shot clock with a
3-pointer to give the Blazers a 91-77 lead with 8:50 to play.
"It was nice, but we knew we had to start that (inside play)
back up again," Anderson said.
Toronto got no closer than nine points thereafter.
scored 11 points and Wallace swept nine rebounds
for Portland, which made 17-of-19 free throws.
and Michael Bradley
grabbed 10 boards each for
the Raptors, who shot 45 percent (36-of-80) and made 10-of-22
from the arc.