Millsap, Williams show well at Rookie Challenge

Millsap, Williams show well at Rookie Challenge

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By BRIAN MAHONEY AP Basketball Writer

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- The NBA's leading shooter had a field day in a game with no defense.

New York forward David Lee was 14-for-14 from the field and scored 30 points, leading the sophomores to a 155-114 victory over the rookies Friday night in the rookie challenge.

Monta Ellis of Golden State added 28 points on a number of dunks as the sophomores set a game scoring record, surpassing the 142 points they scored in 2004. They shot 74.7 percent (68-of-91) and have won the last five games.

Lee, who leads the NBA in field-goal percentage at 61.2 percent, was voted the game's MVP. Chris Paul, the reigning Rookie of the Year, added 16 points, 17 assists and nine steals.

Rudy Gay of Memphis and Utah's Paul Millsap each scored 22 points for the rookies, who never led and trailed by as many as 43 points.

Bill Russell sat next to the rookie bench, and he might have been reminded of his old rival, Wilt Chamberlain, while watching Lee. Chamberlain had three games where he was perfect on 15 or more attempts, including an 18-for-18 night on Feb. 24, 1967.

Lee scored the first four points, and the game really wasn't close after that. Houston's Luther Head gave the sophomores a 26-15 lead with a 3-pointer with 13:31 left in the half, and the rookies never got within single digits again.

The rookies looked helpless later in the half, when Ellis had five alley-oop dunks in a span of less than 3 1/2 minutes, pushing the lead to 31 points on his final one.

The second-year players shot 78 percent (35-for-45) in the first half, with Paul recording 11 assists in 11 minutes off the bench. Ellis was 7-for-7 in the half.

Lee added five more field goals in the first 5 minutes of the second half, and the lead ballooned to 40 on Raymond Felton's 3-pointer a few minutes later.

Last year's draft was considered a weak one, and the rookies did nothing to change that opinion. Even when they seemed to do something right, it went wrong.

Gay powerfully blocked one of Ellis' shoots off the backboard, but he was called for goaltending and it turned into a three-point play because Ellis had been fouled while taking his shot.

Ellis was 13-of-16 from the floor. Utah's Deron Williams scored 19 points and Felton had 17.

Adam Morrison finished with 16 points for the rookies. Andrea Bargnani, the No. 1 overall pick, had 12 on 5-for-11 shooting.

The game was sponsored by T-Mobile, which teamed with the NBA to host more than 6,000 area students in the lower section of the arena.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) APTV-02-16-07 2111MST

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