Calvin Natt scored 21 points and Jim Paxson 17 to lead the Trail Blazers to a 115-106 victory over San Diego last night in the first game for Bill Walton in Portland as a player in nearly five years.
Walton, who led the Trail Blazers to the 1977 NBA title, scored 15 points for San Diego. He received a standing ovation when he was introduced before the game started. His last appearance in Portland as a player was on April 21, 1978, when he was a member of the Trail Blazers in the playoffs and was injured.
Walton also had nine rebounds and five assists, playing about half the game. Terry Cummings of San Diego led all scorers with 29 points.
Two other starters on that championship team also play for San Diego: guard Lionel Hollins and forward Bobby Gross, who recently signed a 10-day contract.
"I recognized a lot of old faces, and I recognized a lot of old voices," Walton said. "I have lots of memories here. It was a lot of fun out there tonight. I just wish we could have won the game."
Portland led, 86-76, after three periods. San Diego closed within five twice in the fourth quarter on jump shots by Walton and Hollins, but the Blazers rebuilt their lead to 13.