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TRAIL BLAZERS

Problem-plagued Isaiah Rider was fined $1,000 for missing a practice after a two-game suspension. He said he didn't realize the team had changed the site for Monday's practice, but coach Mike Dunleavy said Rider had been told. "It's not good for our team," Dunleavy said. "I'm not going to make anything more out of it than it is, as far as it being a slap in the face or something personal." The 6-foot-5 guard started his first game Tuesday night in Portland against his former team, the Minnesota Timberwolves.

WIZARDS 120, NUGGETS 96: Juwan Howard had 29 points and 13 rebounds and Rod Strickland added 13 points and reached the 5,000-assist mark with 10 for Washington.

Tracy Murray had 20 points for the Wizards, who had lost five games since Dec. 21, 1991, and nine of their past 10 in Denver.

After scoring 12 points in the first quarter, Howard added eight in a second and helped turn a 32-30 deficit into a 59-43 halftime lead.

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