PORTLAND — Word quickly spread through the Trail Blazers' locker room before last night's game against the Sonics that Portland would be without guard Bonzi Wells because of his involvement in Friday's melee following a 113-111 victory over Golden State.
"And what about 'Sheed?" Portland guard Derek Anderson said. "What happened there?"
Rasheed Wallace, the temperamental forward who reached into the stands for a Warriors fan who was later caught on video tape pelting players, was fined $15,000 by the NBA. Wells was given a two-game suspension for throwing a punch at Chris Mills, who reportedly tried to get into the Blazers' locker room but was restrained.
Penalties for Golden State players who took part in the altercation were expected to be announced today.
Friday's brawl was sparked when Wells and Mills were battling for position in the closing moments of the game.
The league will almost certainly re-examine security measures at all games, too.
"I've always been a little nervous, especially after a win, ... walking under some team's exit and making sure that I'm looking at the people above," Sonics Coach Nate McMillan said. "They could easily drop something or throw something down. Or spit on you. Or throw a container at you.
"A situation like that (the Blazers-Warriors brawl), you're not protected. You're not protected when you go through those tunnels. The fans have easy access to getting to you. There's a little security there at most arenas, but they can get to you."
Player of the game: Portland guard Derek Anderson made the winning shot, a 24-foot three-pointer, with 1.4 seconds remaining. He finished with a game-high 27 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Top reserve: Portland center Zach Randolph scored 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
Turning point: Sonics reserve center Vitaly Potapenko gave Portland a chance to win the game when he made just one of two free throws with 6.9 seconds left to give Seattle an 80-78 lead.
Highlight: Reggie Evans collected 12 rebounds as the Sonics hauled in 50. It was the second time this season Seattle has had at least 50 rebounds.
Lowlight: The Sonics committed a season-high 24 turnovers.
Next game: At Phoenix, 6 p.m. tomorrow.
Tweaking the rotation
The failure to make a phone call and skipping Tuesday's practice may have cost Kenny Anderson his spot in the rotation. His position with the Sonics had already been tenuous and the guard's recent act of subordination didn't help matters.
On Wednesday, Anderson sat on the bench while serving a team suspension. And on Friday, he didn't play because McMillan couldn't find time for him in the rotation.
"I'm just trying to find a balance," McMillan said yesterday. "Right now, most of our best guys are small. ... I cut the rotation (Friday) night to keep a flow to our play."
Anderson, one of three players the Sonics received in a five-player trade with Boston, averages 11.2 minutes and 3.3 points per game, both career lows.
McMillan also appears to favor center/forward Vitaly Potapenko over reserve Calvin Booth. Potapenko missed 24 games this season while recovering from offseason knee surgery. He made his debut Wednesday, and on Friday night he played 16 minutes during an 88-86 overtime loss to New Orleans.
Booth had been averaging 12 minutes per game this season, but he played a combined nine minutes in the past two games.