Trail Blazers F Zach Randolph was charged yesterday with driving under the influence after an officer said he smelled marijuana in the player's car.

Randolph was released a few hours after his arrest in Portland, Ore., just the latest off-court problem for a team trying to improve its image.

Randolph had been pulled over for not driving within a lane when the officer "noted a strong odor of burning marijuana coming from the vehicle," Sgt. Cheryl Robinson said. The misdemeanor charge carries a potential sentence of up to one year in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.

The Trail Blazers did not take disciplinary action against Randolph, saying they would wait for results of tests taken by police. Randolph, who became a starter this season, leads the team with averages of 20.7 points and 11.2 rebounds.

The Blazers have been plagued by a series of arrests and infighting. Bonzi Wells was stripped of his co-captaincy and suspended for two games after cursing at Coach Maurice Cheeks. Damon Stoudamire is facing drug charges.

* CHARGES DISMISSED: Charges against Darrell Armstrong were dismissed by a judge who ruled it couldn't be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the Hornets guard intentionally struck an officer.

Armstrong's attorney had argued the NBA player accidentally hit Officer Teresa Joyce, swinging his arm in reaction to her touching him as she tried to escort him off the street outside an Orlando nightclub on July 7.

Armstrong, who played nine seasons with the Magic before signing with New Orleans during the offseason, said the arrest and trial had affected his playing. He did sit-ups in the hallway during breaks in the trial.

* DIOP AILING: Cavaliers C DeSagana Diop, whose improvement has been a pleasant surprise this season, has torn cartilage in his right knee and might need surgery.

Diop suffered the injury in Saturday night's double-overtime loss to Memphis.

-- From News Services