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Riding the Bullets Bench December

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Strickland And Crew Get Measure Of Revenge Against Portland

23 December 1996. Washington Bullets 106, Portland Trailblazers 84 (record: 13-13)
Game leaders: Howard (27 points), Webber (11 rebounds), Strickland (10 assists)

Rod Strickland and Tracy Murray got their measures of revenge against their former team, as the Bullets pulled away and crushed a decent Portland team. Strickland finished with 17 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds, and Murray collected 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 3-pointers.

Strickland and Murray Return
The subtext for this regular season game is interesting. However, Cheaney is still not ready to return to action.
Webber and Howard also continued their recent dominating performance, which was well supplemented by the bench play. In fact, Juwan scored 25 of his 27 points in the first half. He scored on the first play of the night, over Cliff Robinson on a jumper, and on the way back down the court, he told coach Jim Lynam, "All night, Jimmy." That's confidence.

Key was the Bullets controlled the game from the beginning, even though they trailed after the 1st quarter. They allowed only 29 Blazer points in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, then didn't collapse late. (The Blazers never got closer than 19 points in the 4th quarter, which is a pleasant relief.)

Said Bullets coach Jim Lynam: "Our defense was as good as it's been all year. We like to think good teams bounce back. Juwan Howard was 13-for-18 in the first half, and the flow was going, so I left him in. Tonight was as good as we've been this year for 48 minutes."

This was a nice surprise and allowed the Bullets to finish their roadtrip with a 4-2 record. That's their best west coast roadtrip in 9 years. Yeah, most of the teams were bad, but that's the story of the Western Conference this year. And the Bullets have to take advantage of every available opportunity so that they can possibly make the playoffs in the much tougher Eastern Conference.

wtf 24 December 1996

<== Grizzlies Shred Bullets In Second Half Turnaround Bullets TV Broadcaster Is Heading West  ==>

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