PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 10 (Ticker) --
Changes in the starting lineup changed
the fortunes of the Portland Trail Blazers.
Nick Van Exel
set a franchise record with eight 3-pointers and
new starters Damon Stoudamire
and Joel Przybilla
were part of a
balanced attack as the Trail Blazers ended a four-game losing
streak with a 109-100 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
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Coming off Sunday's loss at New York, Portland coach Maurice
Cheeks held a team meeting earlier Monday. He decided to start
Stoudamire for Derek Anderson
at shooting guard and Przybilla
for Theo Ratliff at center.
"One of the reasons that I made the change was to try to get a
little bit more energy on the floor," said Cheeks, a former
76ers player and assistant who has won his last two visits to
Philadelphia. "It wasn't that I was some genius out on the
floor making this move. We needed something to jump-start us
early and we got it."
The moves seemed to help everyone involved. Stoudamire scored
22 points, making five of Portland's season-high 14 3-pointers;
Przybilla was active with a season-high 10 points and eight
rebounds; and Anderson stabilized a shallow bench with 11
"The one thing that I have always said is that you put me and
Nick in at the same time, sooner or later, it will cause some
matchup problems for the other team," Stoudamire said. "When we
hit shots like we did tonight, it will always be a tough guard."
While the changes helped, it also helped that Van Exel was his
same old self. He scored 28 points as he made 8-of-13 from the
arc, breaking the team mark of seven shared by Terry Porter
(twice) and Stoudamire.
"The shots fell for me," Van Exel said. "I got a lot of looks
and the guys found me."
"They played off each other and gave us the lift we needed,"
Cheeks said. "When we needed the big shot, it was either Damon
or Nick making the shot each time. They found a little
continuity playing together and that's what happened tonight."
Anderson scored 11 points in a 20-6 first-half run that pushed
Portland's lead to 41-30 with 8:32 left in the second quarter.
The Sixers trailed, 62-51, at halftime and were shot out of the
game by Van Exel, who scored 15 points in the third quarter, all
on 3-pointers. He made a pair 33 seconds apart to give the
Trail Blazers their largest lead at 89-63 with 2:10 to go.
"We needed a couple of buckets just to shake ourselves free,"
Van Exel said. "Damon came up with a couple and I came with a
couple and we finally put them away."
Philadelphia got no closer than the final margin. It played
most of the fourth quarter without Allen Iverson, who had 21
points, nine rebounds and nine assists but fell hard on his hip
in the second half. The NBA's leading scorer missed Friday's
loss at Minnesota with an ankle sprain.
"I fall down all the time," Iverson said. "I didn't hurt it any
worse that my ankle and my shoulder. I was fine."
"We were down quite a bit," Sixers coach Jim O' Brien said.
"The guys we put in got us back into a reasonable game and I did
not want to risk Allen with that kind of deficit."
The Sixers fell to 7-7 at home. They were returning from a 5-3
road trip that included a win at Portland 15 days ago.
"It's a bad feeling, because we played so well on the road,"
said Iverson, whose streak of games with a steal ended at 50.
"Guys tend to come home and then feel like everything is going
to be a cakewalk. We found out tonight that's not so."
Rookie Andre Iguodala
scored a season-high 22 points for the
Sixers. Zach Randolph
scored 18 points for the Blazers, who had
six players in double figures.