Wed, October 08, 2008
Sports > Basketball

Oden makes strong debut for Blazers

2008-10-08 08:05:15 GMT2008-10-08 16:05:15 (Beijing Time) SINA.com

Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden, left, works against Sacramento Kings Mikki Moore in the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008.

Greg Oden announced his delayed arrival to the NBA with a dunk two minutes into the preseason.

Oden debuted to a standing ovation, as did the rest of the young Portland Trail Blazers, in a 110-81 exhibition victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night. Oden finished with 13 points in just under 20 minutes.

Oden was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft, but his rookie season was postponed when he needed microfracture on his right knee. He was held out all of last season.

One young fan held a sign that read: "Welcome to the show No. 52."

Except for two summer league games after he was drafted, Oden hasn't played much since he averaged 15.7 points and 9.6 rebounds in his lone season at Ohio State. He led the Buckeyes to the national championship game, scoring 25 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in the loss to Florida.

Oden won the opening jump over Sacramento's Mikki Moore. His dunk, two minutes into the game, was Portland's first basket.

Oden wowed the near-sellout crowd with another couple of dunks in the second quarter. Fans booed when he was called for a foul.

Both teams gave their reserves plenty of work, as usual in the preseason, but also because of injuries.

The Kings, who traded veteran Ron Artest to Houston in August, were without Kevin Martin, who has tendinitis in his right quadriceps, and Brad Miller, who strained his right quadriceps on Friday.

The Blazers were without point guard Steve Blake, who has a sore left hamstring.

Brandon Roy, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in August, played a little more than 23 minutes and had 14 points and seven assists for the Blazers. Martell Webster led Portland with 15 points.

Donte Greene, acquired from Houston in the Artest deal, had 18 points and Francisco Garcia added 12 for the Kings, who led by as many as 11 points in the first half before the Blazers seized control.

Besides Oden, Blazers fans also got their first look at Spanish guard Rudy Fernandez, who played the past seven seasons for DKV Joventut Badelona of the Spanish ACB League.

Fernandez, who played on the Spanish Olympic team that lost to the United States in the gold medal game in Beijing, was flashy offensively and effective defensively in his first NBA game.

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