Weekly lineup

 Tuesday, January 18
Dunleavy: Wallace's emotions must help, not hurt
Associated Press

  PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Trail Blazers enter Tuesday night's game in Houston hoping that volatile forward Rasheed Wallace has toned down his act.

"The reaction is a no-win situation for us," coach Mike Dunleavy said Monday regarding Wallace, who has been ejected from the last two games for heatedly arguing with the officials. "Somehow, the reaction has to become positive for us. Play harder or take it out on the other team."

On Friday night in Phoenix, Wallace was hit with two technical fouls by referee Ted Bernhardt, and Wallace had to be restrained by teammate Scottie Pippen after he went after the official. The Blazers came back and won that game, but lost Saturday night in Dallas, when Wallace was thrown out for throwing an elbow at Dirk Nowitzki.

Wallace refused requests to be interviewed, The Oregonian reported. And some of his teammates were reluctant to talk about his situation.

"Rasheed is Rasheed. I wouldn't be one to criticize him," forward/center Antonio Harvey said. "I would think he'll do what's best for his career. He probably feels that some calls have gone against him, and technicals are part of the game. He's doing what he thinks is right for him, and that makes it right for me."

The Blazers consider Wallace their best option on offense.

"Rasheed has the ability to play anybody on defense, and he can score on anybody, so he's always going to give us a mismatch in our favor," Dunleavy said. "The one way I know people can stop him is if he's not in the game. As a go-to guy or as a decoy guy, we need to have Rasheed on the floor."

Portland has struggled in the first half of games recently. The team has scored 61 or 62 second-half points in four of its last seven games. In that span, the Blazers have been outscored by a total of 28 points in the first half and have outscored their opponents by 96 points in the second half.

"It's like we're waiting for teams to make their move and saying, 'We'll catch you later. We'll turn it on in the second half,' " forward Scottie Pippen said.

Pippen had to leave Monday's practice shortly after it began because of a neck injury.

"I can't even move it. I'm getting spasms right now," said Pippen, who had his neck braced and said he might have strained a muscle trying to intercept a fast-break pass.

The Blazers, who already have beaten the Rockets twice in two meetings this season, have to be careful not to look ahead to games at San Antonio and the Los Angeles Lakers to end their five-game road trip.

"We got past Phoenix and were looking past Dallas, and the Mavericks spanked us," forward Brian Grant said. "So I'm focused only on what Houston is going to do. I know the Rockets have a lot of injuries, but an injured dog can bite you."

Lawrence: Blazers need calm Rasheed