Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Friday, May 21, 1999
Rider saddles Jazz with 84-81 loss
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer
SALT LAKE CITY -- One of the biggest knocks on the Portland Trail Blazers
this season has been their lack of a consistent scorer who can get that
crucial basket with the game on the line.
On Thursday night, Isaiah Rider filled the role nicely -- with a little
help from his brothers.
Portland beat the Utah Jazz 84-81, but the Blazers couldn't exhale until
John Stockton's layup with two seconds to play went in and out. Rider scored
six straight points in the game's final 1:39 as the Blazers barely held
off a frantic Jazz rally and evened the second-round playoff series at
The notoriously unstable Rider has been a steadying force for Portland
during the playoffs. He averaged a team-high 20 points in the Blazers'
first-round sweep of Phoenix, but in Portland's 93-83 loss in Game 1, he
was held to 12.
``My brothers called me and let me know, `Hey, that was terrible. All
you're doing is shooting 3-pointers,''' Rider said. ``They keep an eye
on how I'm playing, and they keep me focused sometimes. I have good brothers.''
Rider scored 21 of his 27 points in the second half, beating the Jazz
with his outside shot and an array of post-up moves against Jeff Hornacek
and Shandon Anderson.
``They had Hornacek and Anderson on him, and he's stronger than both
of them,'' Portland's Rasheed Wallace said. ``We made sure he had a chance
In the night's other game, the New York Knicks defeated Atlanta 77-70
to take a 2-0 lead over the Hawks.
Tonight's game features the Philadelphia 76ers returning to their home
court trying to avoid falling behind 3-0 in their series against Indiana.
Hornacek's jumper with 1:58 to play cut Portland's lead to 76-73, and
on the next three possessions, the Blazers went straight to Rider. He was
fouled the first two times, and he made all four free throws with the raucous
Delta Center crowd screaming in his face.
``It doesn't matter about those balloons and those fans,'' Rider said.
``If it didn't look cocky, I'd be smiling when I shoot those free throws.
That's my favorite time.''
Stockton's 3-pointer cut the lead to 80-78 with 37 seconds left, but
the Blazers found Rider in the low post, and he turned and made a layup
with Hornacek hanging all over him.
``Those are shots we need,'' said Rider, who was 4-of-6 on 3-pointers.
``That was my responsibility, and I just tried not to let the guys down.''
But the Jazz still weren't done. Hornacek hit a 3-pointer with 12 seconds
left, pulling Utah to 82-81. Greg Anthony made one of two free throws,
setting the Jazz up for a final shot.
Stockton, who has scored most of the biggest last-second points in Jazz
playoff history, was the natural choice to take the final shot. He drove
the lane and drew contact with Jim Jackson, but the ball went in and out.
``I should have made it,'' Stockton said. ``I had an opportunity to
win it, and didn't. ... That was a pretty darn good look at the end of
a game. I just didn't finish it.''
Anthony made another free throw, and Bryon Russell's full-court heave
at the buzzer missed.
The strange game also featured the lowest-scoring first half in playoff
history and impressive performances from two of the game's best power forwards,
Brian Grant and Karl Malone.
``Both teams just played their hearts out,'' Portland coach Mike Dunleavy
said. ``We were lucky to come out with it, because both teams had a really
The game's exciting conclusion belied an atrocious first half in which
Portland and Utah set the NBA playoff records for the fewest combined points
in a first quarter and tied the record for fewest points in a first half.
The teams shot a combined 28 percent from the field and made 16 turnovers
on the way to Portland's 32-31 halftime lead.
The Blazers had a 15-0 third-quarter run, holding Utah scoreless for
nearly five minutes. In the fourth, Anderson's three-point play tied the
game at 64-64 with 6:58 to play, but Portland made a 9-0 run in the next
1:45, capped by Wallace's layup with 5:13 left.
``There were whole stretches of the game when we just turned the ball
over for no particular reason,'' Stockton said.
Knicks 77, Hawks 70
Latrell Sprewell scored 31 points for the second straight game for New
York at Atlanta.
After winning both games at the Georgia Dome, the Knicks are heading
home with a chance to sweep the series. Game 3 is Sunday at Madison Square
Garden, with Game 4 the following night.
``It's been great,'' said Sprewell, who was suspended most of last season
after choking his former coach, P.J. Carlesimo. ``Back then, I didn't think
I would be in this position. It's nice to win in the playoffs. I've not
experienced that before. I hope it continues.''
Marcus Camby added 11 points, 13 rebounds and one resounding dunk over
``Everything is clicking now, especially the transition game. We're
getting a lot of easy baskets, and I haven't seen that in a New York team
since I've been watching. The roles are definitely changing,'' Camby said.
Sprewell provided 10 of New York's 23 points in the final period, including
a three-point play with 5:45 remaining that pushed the lead to 69-58. The
Hawks never got closer than five the rest of the way.
Steve Smith, the Hawks' leading scorer, was held to 2-of-16 shooting
and nine points.
Swim lesson sign-ups Monday
PECOS, May 21 -- The final day to pre-register for Pecos-Barstow-Toyah
summer learn-to-swim classes will be this Monday at the Pecos High School
Sign-ups will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m. with a registration fee of $25
per student. For further information, call PHS swimming coach Terri Morse
Registration for other P-B-T summer athletic programs will be held after
the end of schoo, beginning the week of May 31. Other programs include
track, tennis, golf, volleyball, basketball and weight training.
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 1999 by Pecos Enterprise