Road Kill reversal

Blazers respond to Monday's loss with epic rout of Spurs, 137-97
Feb. 21, 2012
Portland's starters relax on the bench during Tuesday's win.
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

How good were the Portland Trail Blazers Tuesday night? They scored a season-high 41 points in the first quarter.

Or how bad were they the previous night, when they scored just seven?

The Blazers washed away Monday's loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles with a 137-97 blowout of the San Antonio Spurs, who sat starters Tim Duncan and Tony Parker and also played without Manu Ginobili as part of sign that 11 straight wins were enough to show their status as one of the league's elite teams.

Portland had six players score 16 points or more and improved to 17-15 heading to the All-Star Break, in which all of its players other than forward LaMarcus Aldridge get a week off. Aldridge, selected by coaches as an All-Star for the first time, will be in Orlando, Fla., over the weekend.

Aldridge scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 27 minutes.

Portland coach Nate McMillan stared sixth-man Jamal Crawford at point guard in place of Raymond Felton, a move that followed Nicolas Batum becoming a starter at shooting guard last week.

 

LOS ANGELES LAKERS 103, PORTLAND 92

Portland's season-low point total for a first half led to another road loss Monday night.

After scoring just 30 points in the first half and falling behind by 29 early in the third quater, the Blazers rallied to within 10 before losing 103-92 to the Los Angeles Lakers in a nationally-televised game from the Staples Center.

Portland got 18 points each from LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum and another 15 from Jamal Crawford off the bench, but shot just 41 percent from the field and got outrebounded 51-37.

The Lakers got 28 points from Kobe Bryant and 17 from former Blazer Steve Blake, who hit 5 of 6 attempts from three-point range.

Despite the poor first half, Portland got within 84-74 with 7:30 left in the game and had the ball. The Lakers responded with a 6-0 run and the teams closed out the game with little drama.

The Blazers fell to 17-16 heading into Tuesday's game against San Antonio at the Rose Garden. Following the game, the Blazers have a week off for the All-Star Weekend.

The Lakers improved to 19-13.

 

PORTLAND 97, ATLANTA 77

LaMarcus Aldridge and Raymond Felton returned to form to lead the Trail Blazers to a 97-77 win over Atlanta that snapped a four-game losing streak at the Rose Garden Saturday.

Aldridge, sidelined for most of the week with a tweaked ankle, scored 19 points and hauled in 10 rebounds, while Felton had 14 points and 10 assists after "missing" a home loss to the Clippers Thursday in which he went scoreless.

Nicolas Batum, continuing his strong play, scored 22 points to lead the Blazers, who improved to 17-15 and remained just a half-game from a playoff spot and one game from the fifth seed in the Western Conference.

Portland plays at the Los Angeles Lakers Monday in a nationally-televised game and then is host to the San Antonio Spurs before taking a week off for the All-Star Break.

Atlanta, which had beaten the Blazers in their last six meetings, dropped to 19-12. The Hawks, who are 10-7 in road games, were outrebounded 50-27.

 

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS 74, PORTLAND 71

Chris Paul scored all 13 of his points in the final 10 minutes and led the Los Angeles Clippers past the Portland Trail Blazers 74-71 in an offensive struggle at the Rose Garden Thursday.

Portland got 19 points from Nicolas Batum and led by as many as 18 points in the first half, but struggled to score in the closing minutes and lost its fourth-straight home game.

Portland led 60-52 with 9:15 left in the game when Paul scored his first points.

Blake Griffin scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to help the Clippers, who played their third game in four nights, to 19-9 overall.

Gerald Wallace scored 19 points for Portland, which played its third game in three nights. The Blazers, who missed LaMarcus Aldridge for the second straight night, fell to 16-15 and ninth place in the Western Conference standings.

Batum scored 15 points in the first quarter, but rarely shot thereafter.

The Blazers fell to 2-10 in games decided by four points or less.

Portland plays host to Atlanta Saturday, at the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday and host to San Antonio Tuesday.

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