Batum, Aldridge overpower Denver, 117-97

Batum returns and hits 9 three-pointers in home series opener
Feb. 4, 2012
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 29 points in Portland's win Saturday.
(Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)

Nicolas Batum returned from a two-game leave and pounded the Denver Nuggets with nine three-point shots Saturday night.

Batum hit nine of 15 three-point attempts and 11 of 19 field-goal attempts overall to finish with a game-high 33 points as Portland beat the Nuggets 119-97 in the first of a three-game homestand against Western Conference playoff contenders.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 29 points and nine rebounds and Marcus Camby grabbed 20 rebounds for the third time this season to help the Blazers improve to 11-1 at home and 14-10 overall.

Denver got 20 points from Danilo Gallinari, but made just five three-pointers in the game. Portland made 15.

The Blazers moved to within 4.5 games Oklahoma City in the Western Conference and play host to the Thunder Monday night.



In spite of 28 points abnd 145 rebounds from LaMarcus Aldridge, the Portland Trail Blazers lost on the road again Thursday night as the Sacramento Kings closed the game on a 7-4 run to win 95-92 at Arco Arena.

Adridge hit 12 of 19 shots from the field and grabbed seven offensive rebounds, but the Blazers were outscored 22-8 at the free-throw line and fell to 3-9 in road games, 13-10 overall.

Raymond Felton had 15 points and 10 assists for the Blazers, who also got 17 points from Jamal Crawford.

The Kings, who improved to 5-4 at home, 7-15 overall, got 20 points from guard Marcus Thornton and 19 from forward John Salmons in the win before 11,740 spectators.

Portland, which dropped into a seventh-place tie with Utah in the Western Conference, plays host to Denver, Oklahoma City and Houston in its next three games. The Nuggets (15-7, 8-5 road), beat the Los Angeles Clippers 112-91 in Los Angeles Thursday. Oklahoma City, which lost in Portland in the second week of the season, is a league-best 17-4 and 9-3 on the road, also a league-best.



Even Elliot Williams got into the act Wednesday during Portland's historic win over Charlotte at the Rose Garden.

It wasn't historic in a good way, though.

Jamal Crawford scored 24 points in 21 minutes, Gerald Wallace had 23 points and five rebounds and LaMarcus Aldridge added 22 points as the Blazers beat Charlotte by 44 points, 112-68, handing the Bobcats their worst loss in franchise history.

Gerald Henderson led Charlotte with 16 points, but was the lone starter to make more than two field goals. The Bobcats' starters were a combined 12-38 from the field, while Portland's starters were 25 of 47.

Wiliams, a first-round pick of the Blazers from 2010 who has been averaging just 3 minutes per game of action, saw 18 minutes and scored seven points.

Portland led 61-35 at the half on the way to improving to 10-1 at home and 13-9 overall heading into a road game at Sacramento Thursday.

Charlotte, which was outscored 58-26 in the paint, lost for the 11th-straight game, including 106-73 at the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday.