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CLYDE PROVES HE CAN STILL GLIDE

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Clyde Drexler put on a vintage show against the stumbling New York Knicks on Sunday night, scoring 33 points, 31 in the first three quarters, as the Portland Trail Blazers rolled to a 111-87 victory.

At age 32, nothing irritates Drexler more than the suggestion that his skills are eroding."What do you mean?," he said when someone said his breakaway slam dunk during the rout may have surprised people who felt he no longer was capable of such moves. "I don't know what you're talking about. I mean, I'm only 21."

He started to explain his philosophy on aging athletes, then stopped himself. "I don't even want to get into it," he said. "I mean, I don't think your skills start eroding until you're about 45."

Drexler made 14 of 19 field goal attempts and didn't have a turnover. Blazers' coach P.J. Carlesimo said Drexler's performance was not that far out of the ordinary this year.

"He defended. He moved the ball well. He helped out. He had an excellent game," Carlesimo said. "But, you know, Clyde Drexler's been playing well all year. Clyde Drexler's played pretty well from day one in training camp."

Clifford Robinson added 24 points in what was probably Portland's best overall effort of the season.

"We haven't played any better than that, that's for sure," Carlesimo said.

Repeatedly, especially in the second half, Drexler got the ball in the low post against outmatched defenders John Starks and Hubert Davis.

"Most teams would double you right away and never let you operate down there," Drexler said. "The Knicks wanted to see how well their guy could stop me, I guess. I like that."

Rod Strickland added 17 points and 11 assists as Portland's starting guards outscored their New York counterparts 50-15. Starks and Derek Harper were a combined 4-for-19 shooting.

"Our perimeter game is non-existent," Knick coach Pat Riley said. "I am not accusing a team like ours that has a collective heart of not trying. But I see a real trend developing where we're getting beat in a lot of phases.

"We may have to make a major change in what we're doing."

The Blazers' Chris Dudley matched Ewing's rebound total with 14. Dudley, who faces Orlando's Shaquille O'Neal on Tuesday, had to leave the game briefly late in the third quarter to get eight stitches above his left eye after catching an elbow from Ewing.

Just three weeks ago, he had eight stitches on his forehead after an elbow from Indiana's Rik Smits.

Charles Smith scored 18 for the Knicks, who finished their Pacific Division road trip at 1-2 with a victory over Sacramento and losses to Phoenix and Portland. New York's Charles Oakley missed all three games with a sore right toe.

New York also was playing without Anthony Bonner, who left for home earlier in the day after his father suffered a stroke.

Portland had lost three in a row to the Knicks.

Nets 103, Heat 102

At East Rutherford, N.J., Benoit Benjamin scored 12 of his season-high 24 points in the fourth quarter, including two free throws with 2.4 seconds remaining, to lead the New Jersey Nets over the Miami Heat.

The Nets trailed 80-76 entering the fourth period and fell further behind when Bimbo Coles and Kevin Willis hit early baskets, giving Miami an 84-78 lead.

But Benjamin scored nine points in a 22-5 run that gave New Jersey a 98-89 lead with 4:05 remaining.

Benjamin's free throw with 2:17 to play put the Nets in front 99-91 before the Heat rallied as Glenn Rice hit a 3-pointer and, after another Benjamin free throw, Billy Owens scored a three-point play and Kevin Willis rolled in a short jump hook.

With 30.6 seconds left, Miami was one point down, 100-99.

The Heat had a chance to take the lead after P.J. Brown was called for an offensive foul, but John Sally's drive spun off the rim and Armon Gilliam rebounded and was immediately fouled. He made one of two free throws for the Nets with 13.2 remaining.

Miami's Glenn Rice tried a 3-pointer with four seconds to play, but it went off the front rim and Benjamin rebounded. He was fouled and made both free throws, negating a 3-point half-court bomb by Kevin Gamble at the buzzer.

The Nets played the second half without leading scorer and rebounder Derrick Coleman, who tore his left hand between the pinky and ring fingers while defending a Sally drive with 3:04 remaining in the first half. Coleman received 12 stitches and did not return.

Gilliam added 15 points for the Nets, while Kenny Anderson and Rex Walters each had 12. Benjamin and Brown both grabbed 13 rebounds.

Kevin Willis led the Heat with 26 points and 13 rebounds, while Coles added 20.