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SUMMER LEAGUE A PHYSICAL TEST FOR LOCAL STARS

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For the local players making their debuts in the Rocky Mountain Revue summer basketball league Wednesday night at the Delta Center, the reviews were mixed.

Ex-University of Utah guard Byron Wilson, playing with the Phoenix Suns' entry, lost 99-87 to a Golden State Warriors team that included former Ute teammate Josh Grant and ex-Aggie Jay Goodman. On a team with a big-guard shortage, Wilson played 31 minutes, scored 17 points on 5 of 13 from the field (1 of 7 from the three-point line), totaled five rebounds and two steals. Grant played 16 minutes, hit three of six shots for eight points, grabbed seven rebounds and fouled out. And Goodman posted a nightmarish line - racking up five fouls in just six minutes, with no shots, one assist, one steal and three turnovers."I was a little too excited," Goodman said. "I didn't get any breaks, but I guess I can't expect any."

The 6-foot-10 Grant, who is weighing in at 225 these days, said he is rapidly learning that the NBA is not college.

"It's a lot more physical," he said, "and from what I hear, it gets even worse."

Several times during the game Grant found himself matched up with bigger players who took advantage of their size edge. Once he got backed in by Bob Martin, a 7-foot, 255-pounder, and on another occasion he found himself trying to stop Oliver Miller, the 6-9, 290-pounder from Arkansas.

"There wasn't anything I could do," Grant said. "Even if I block his shot it would have been a foul. It was a no-win situation for me."

Like Goodman, Grant realized by game's end that even in a summer league, some players are going to get more calls than others.

"It's interesting to see who gets the respect and who doesn't," Grant said.

One foul that no one argued about occurred in the first quarter when Wilson, driving to the hoop, got knocked to the floor - hard - by his old teammate.

"It was a good foul," Wilson said. "Josh is looking for a job, like everybody else."

Wilson, a sturdy 6-2, 220 pounds, held his own while matched up all night against players 6-4 and 6-5. While he seems more suited to the physical pro game, he will still have a hard time cracking a Suns' roster that includes guards Kevin Johnson, Dan Majerle, Danny Ainge, Negele Knight and Frank Johnson.

Dick Van Arsdale, the Suns' vice president of player personnel, said Wilson's game needs some work.

"He's a good all-around player," Van Arsdale said. "He doesn't do any one thing extremely well, but he does a lot of things well. He needs to work on his shot - it's too flat, and he jumps into the shot instead of going straight up."

As for the game itself, it was decided in the fourth quarter when the Warriors outscored the Suns, 32-12. Andre Spencer, from Northern Arizona, led the winners with 24 points. Chris Gatling totaled 20 points and 10 boards, Byron Houston added 18 and point guard Mike Iuzzolino took advantage of Goodman's absence to finish with 10 points and nine assists.

For the Suns, Tracey Ware of New Mexico State shared high-scoring honors with Wilson at 17; first-round draft choice Malcolm Mackey of Georgia Tech scored 15; and Miller totaled 12.

Today's schedule pits Portland vs. Golden State at 4 p.m.; Chicago vs. Houston at 6 p.m.; and Utah vs. Burghy Roma - the Italian entry - at 8 p.m.

Portland 80, Chicago 79

Bill Wennington hit the game-winner with six seconds left off an offensive rebound. Tracy Murray led the Blazers with 27 points, though he hit just 9 of 23 from the field. Dave Johnson scored 22 and Elliott Perry 15. For the Bulls, Bobby Phills scored 19 and Jo Jo English 16.

Denver 95, Houston 74

In the day's only blowout, the Nuggets outshot the Rockets, 54.5 percent to 39.4 percent. Bryant Stith hit 10 of 13 for Denver, finishing with a game-high 24 points; Kevin Brooks added 15, Darnell Mee 11 and Harper Williams 10. Houston's Robert Horry missed 12 of 19 shots but was the team's high scorer, with 17. Tod Murphy scored 15 and Jose Miguel Antunez had 10.

Dallas 101, Seattle 93, OT

Yes, the Mavericks can win a game, but it wasn't easy. Jimmy Jackson missed two free throws - either of which would have clinched it - with five-tenths of a second remaining in regulation to send it into overtime. In OT, the Sonics missed all six of their field-goal attempts while Dallas made one - a three-pointer by Jackson - and then mopped up at the free-throw line. Jackson and rookie guard Lucious Harris each finished with 19; Sean Rooks totaled 18 points and 17 rebounds. For Seattle, Gerald Paddio had 23 and Adonis Jordan scored 16.