Batum, Aldridge overpower Denver, 117-97

Batum returns and hits 9 three-pointers in home series opener
Feb. 4, 2012

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.



Manning, Madonna, Boyd, and Gatorade, too

SPORTSLAND 86 delves into the issues of the day, including prop bets
Jan. 31, 2012

It's the week before the Superbowl, and the Sportsland, Oregon has the preview episode that covers all the bases, from predictions to prop bets.

The cast starts off discussing the Timbers' new addition, Kris Boyd, the all-time leading goal scorer in the Scottish Premier League. What's his move to the Timbers mean for soccer in the Northwest?

From one local professional team they move on to the other, breaking down the Blazers' inconsistencies over the past week and assessing how bad Nick Batum's knee injury may turn out to be after another road loss.

Then, after some basketball Civil War talk and Signing Day thoughts, it's finally time for Superbowl predictions.  The guys give their thoughts on who the winners and losers will be, then break down their favorite prop bets, including the length of the National Anthem and what color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach.  

All that, plus the usual segments, including What Plucks My Duck and What Makes Your Beaver Eager, all of it recorded at Portland's Blitz in the Pearl Restaurant.



Blazers lose game and Batum at Utah

Portland drops another road game, and another knee gets attention
Jan. 30, 2012

The road to the NBA playoffs was unkind again for the Portland Trail Blazers, who lost 93-89 at Utah Monday night.

Portland got 25 points and seven rebounds from LaMarcus Aldridge and 15 points from Nicolas Batum, but fell to 3-8 on the road.

Utah got a stellar effort from Paul Millsap, who scored 19 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead five players in double figure points.

The Jazz, who beat the Blazers for the first time in five meetings, improved to 12-7 overall, while Portland dropped to 12-9.

The Blazers led by 11 in the third quarter, but Utah rallied and led 87-81 when Portland rallied to within 89-87 and had the ball with 24 seconds left. Batum lost the ball on the possession and suffered an injured left knee on the play. Utah made 4 of 6 free throws in the final 13 seconds to seal the win.

Utah scored a huge edge at the free-throw line, turning Portland's 24 fouls into 38 attempts. Portland turned Utah's 17 fouls into only 13 attempts.

The loss dropped the Blazers into a three-way tie for sixth in the Western Conference. Portland plays host to Charlotte on Wednesday.



Portland flips switch on Phoenix blowout

At home, the Blazers humble the Suns by 38
Jan. 27, 2012

Three weeks after getting drilled in Phoenix, the Portland Trail Blazers took over the hardware and dished out a 109-71 shellacking of the Suns Friday night at the Rose Garden.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 23 points and seven rebounds and Marcus Camby grabbed 20 rebounds to lead the Blazers, who lost 102-77 to the Suns, Jan. 6.

Gerald Wallace added 17 points and Wesley Matthews had 16 to help Portland's starters outscore the Phoenix starters 60-28. The Blazers held the Suns to just nine points in the second quarter and only one Phoenix starter, center Martin Gortat, played more than 25 minutes.

Portland held a 58-41 rebounding edge and outscored the Suns 52-36 in the paint.

The win moved Portland four games over .500 for the first time since losing to Orlando, Jan. 11.

The Blazers have two off days before playing at Utah Monday.


Portland drops another road game

Big games from Curry, Lee lead Golden State to 101-93 win
Jan. 23, 2012

Another road game, another loss for the Portland Trail Blazers. But, they return home Friday night.

A solid second half propelled the Golden State Warriors to a101-93 win over Portland, dropping the Blazers to 11-8 on the season, 3-7 on the road.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Blazers and Marcus Camby had 16 rebounds, but the Warriors got 32 points from guard Stephen Curry and 26 points from David Lee.

Golden State outscored the Blazers 53-40 in the second half.

The loss put Portland in a three-way tie for sixth place with Memphis and the Los Angeles Lakers, only one game from third place in the Western Conference playoff race, which may have expanded to 11 teams with the surging Minnesota Timberwolves having beaten Dallas Wednesday.



And, just like that, the Portland Trail Blazers are battling for homecourt edge in the first round of the NBA Playoffs after a second consecutive home win Tuesday, this time over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Portland used a 17-2 third-quarter run, sparked by three blocks from Marcus Camby, to easily end the Grizzlies' seven-game win streak.

With the win, the Blazers improved to 11-7 overall and moved into a four-way tie for third place in the Western Conference, which has 10 teams within a half-game of a playoff spot, including the Los Angeles Lakers, who are in 10th place.

Camby finished with 22 rebounds and five blocks, helping the Blazers hold Memphis to just 37 percent shooting from the field. LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 23 points with seven coming from the free throw line. Portland outscored Memphis 30-13 at the free throw line.

Portland plays at Golden State (5-11) Wednesday night, closing one of its two runs of three games in three days.



After winning just two games on a six-game road trip, the Portland Trail Blazers returned to their home at the Rose Garden and beat up on the Sacramento Kings Monday night, 101-89.

Jamal Crawford scored a season-high 267 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 13 points and 16 rebounds as the Blazers improved to 7-1 at home, their lone loss coming the game before leaving on the road trip.

Gerald Wallace added 20 points and eight rebounds to help Portland to a 53-36 rebounding edge. The Blazers improved to 10-7 with the win.

Sacramento got 18 points from DeMarcus Cousins, but dropped to 6-12, 2-9 on the road.

Portland plays host to the streaking Memphis Grizzlies Tuesday night. Memphis started at 3-6, but has won seven straight games, including 91-90 at Golden State on Monday. At 10-7, the Blazers are tied with Houston for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference. They're only one half game out of a tie for third in the hyper-competitive playoff race that currently has the Los Angeles Lakers in 10th. The Lakers, though, are just a half game behind the Blazers and a game out of third.

Following Tuesday's game, the Blazers play at Golden State Wednesday and play host to Phoenix on Friday.


Blazers end road trip with disappointing loss

Portland loses at Detroit in final seconds, 94-91
Jan. 21, 2012

The Portland Trail Blazers closed out a six-game road trip in the worst way Saturday, losing in the final seconds to a deflated team.

Detroit's Rodney Stuckey came off the bench and lit up Portland for 28 points, including four free throws in the final seven seconds to boost the Pistons to only their fourth win of the season, 94-91.

The Blazers had a final possession to try and tie the game but turned the ball over.

Portland finished its road trip with two wins in six games and returns to the Rose City at 9-7 and tied for ninth in the Western Conference.

A night after setting career marks with 33 points and 23 rebounds, LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points, but just fdour rebounds in 34 minutes. Raymond Felton added 20 points and nine assists, but the Blazers couldn't match the Pistons' shooting from long range. Detroit hit 7 of 15 3-point attempts, including 4 of 5 by Stuckey, while Portland hit just 3 of 20 attempts.

The Blazers play Sacramento Monday and surging Memphis Tuesday.



LaMarcus Aldridge, perhaps sparked by being named a finalist to play in the Olympic Games and also earning his spot on the All-Star ballot, blew up on the court Friday in Toronto, scoring 33 points and grabbing 23 rebounds - both career highs - to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 94-84 win.

Portland rolled to a 27-14 lead in the first quarter and held the lead for the remainder of the game.

Aldridge, who even left the court to receive treatment for a sore back late in the first quarter, is averaging 22.5 points per game, which is good for seventh in the NBA.

"He put us on his back tonight and that's what great players do," Jamal Crawford told media afterward. "I could tell he was a little different, even in the warmups. He had a different focus. He wasn't about to lose tonight."

Raymond Felton had 14 and Jamal Crawford added 10 points for Portland, which can wrap up a six-game road trip with a 3-3 record by beating Detroit Saturday in the Motor City.



ATLANTA - Another late comeback, another loss for the Portland Trail Blazers.

A week after nearly rallying from a double-digit deficit to win in the fourth quarter, the Blazers overcame a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter at Atlanta, but still lost 92-89.

Portland made up a 75-62 deficit by scoring the first 13 points of the fourth quarter and led 78-77 when the Hawks went on a 11-2 run to take an 8-point lead with 1:01 left in the game.

Jamal Crawford, who played in Atlanta last season, led the Blazers with 22 points, while LaMarcus Aldridge added 20 points and 11 rebounds. The Blazers shot just 38 percent from the field and gave up a 22-10 edge in fastbreak points.

Portland fell to 8-6 overall, and 2-5 on the road heading to Toronto for a game Friday followed by a trip to Detroit Saturday to wrap up a six-game road trip. The Raptors are 4-11 and have lost six straight games, while Detroit is 3-12 following a loss to Minnesota Wednesday.

Atlanta, which got 24 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists from Joe Johnson, improved to 11-4 overall, 7-1 at home.



Jan. 17, 2012

Portland's road back to NBA respectability will get a bit test Wednesday at Atlanta.

The Trail Blazers, who fell from fifth to 13th in the ESPN Power Rankings in one week, play a team that's been beating the best teams in the Eastern Conference - Miami and Chicago.

Portland enters at 8-5 overall after a win at New Orleans on Monday. Atlanta is 10-4 and has won six of its last seven games, including three straight. The Hawks beat Toronto 93-84 Monday behind 28 points and 15 rebounds from Josh Smith.

The Blazers have the optimism created by LaMarcus Aldridge being named as one of the 20 finalists to be selected for the US Olympic Team Monday.

Atlanta will play without one of its top players, Al Horford, who suffered a torn pectoral muscle and will be lost until at least the playoffs.


Blazers beat Clippers, keep rolling at home

Portland improves to 6-0 at home with 105-97 win over Los Angeles
Jan. 10, 2012

Gerald Wallace scored 20 points, including a key 3-pointer with two minutes left, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Los Angeles Clippers 105-97 Tuesday to avenge a loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles on New Year's Day.

Wallace, who was held scoreless in the loss in LA, made 8 of 12 shots from the field to help Portland shoot 51 percent from the field. He also had four rebounds and four assists.

"I think we were more mentally ready for them" Wallace told media afterward. "We felt like we just let the game in L.A. get away, so we wanted to come out and jump on them from the start."

When the fans' chant was mentioned after the game, Wallace smiled again.

"They keep me amped," he said.

 LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points and seven rebounds for Portland, which improved to 7-2 overall and 6-0 at home.

Portland plays at home tonight against Orlando, then heads off for a six-game road trip.

Caron Butler scored 20 points and Blake Griffin added 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Clippers, who fell to 4-3 overall.


Phoenix brings Blazers back to Earth

After two big wins, Portland stumbles in the desert
Jan. 6, 2012

After wins over Western Conference heavyweights Oklahoma City and Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, the Portland Trail Blazers ran into a team needing a big win of its own Friday night.

And Phoenix took advantage of its opportunity, beating the Blazers handily in Phoenix, 102-77.

Jared Dudley led six Phoenix players in double figures with 18 points and Steve Nash added 17 points and nine assists as the Suns improved to 3-4 overall.

Portland, which beat the Thunder on Tuesday and Lakers Thursday night, got 14 points from LaMarcus Aldridge, but only 21 points from the rest of the starting 5.

The Blazers fell to 5-2, 1-2 on the road. The Blazers play their next three games at home where they're 4-0, beginning with Cleveland Sunday night at the Rose Garden.



Portland's hot early-season play got national attention Thursday as the Trail Blazers beat the Los Angeles Lakers 107-96 at the Rose Garden on TNT.

Gerald Wallace scored a game-high 31 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 28 points and 10 rebounds as the Blazers improved to 5-1 on the season and remained the lone team in the Western Conference with one loss.

Jamal Crawford added 17 points and three assists.

The Blazers were outrebounded 47-39, outshot from the free-throw line by two points and even allowed the Lakers to shoot 46.8 percent from the field, but won by shooting 46.1 percent from the field, making five three-pointers to none and finishing with a 16-5 edge in points scored off turnovers.

Portland committed just four turnovers in the game.

Kobe Bryand led the Lakers with 30 points, and Andrew Bynum added 21 points and 12 rebounds. Los Angeles dropped to 4-4 on the season.

The Blazers play at Phoenix tonight, then play three home games in a row.



Portland moved into the Northwest Division lead with a 103-93 win over Oklahoma City Tuesday night on the Thunder's home court.

The Blazers broke free of a 66-all tie with a 6-0 run and led from there, improving to 4-1 on the season.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and eight rebounds to lead Portland.

The Blazers managed a 46-40 rebounding edge, shot 15 more free throws and outscored Oklahoma City 52-40 in the second half.

Oklahoma City got 23 points from James Harden and a combined 41 points from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, but lost fo the second consecutive night. The Thunder lost at Dallas Monday.

Portland has a night off before facing the Los Angeles Lakers (3-3) at the Rose Garden Thursday night. Tuesday's win put the Blazers atop the Western Conference playoff standings, although the other 14 teams are all within 2.5 games.


Clippers end Blazers' win streak

Portland rallies late, but falls at Los Angeles, 93-88
Staff Report / Jan. 1, 2012

LOS ANGELES - Portland's run to an unbeaten season ended Sunday with a 93-88 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center.

Jamal Crawford scored 14 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter to help the Blazers cut a 17-point deficit to two in the final minute, but a Chris Paul lay-up with nine seconds left put the Clippers up 92-88 to secure the win.

Portland fell to 3-1 and will play at Oklahoma City Tuesday night.

The Clippers improved to 2-2.

Los Angeles got 20 points and 10 rebounds from Blake Griffin and 17 points and seven assists from Chris Paul in the win.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 19 points and nine rebounds for Portland, which had a 46-38 edge in rebounds.

Oklahome City enters Tuesday's game at 5-1, following a loss at Dallas Monday night. The Thunder have experienced open conflict between stars Kevin Durant, who scored more than 30 points per game in the team's first four games, and Russell Westbrook.

Aldridge powers Blazers to 2-0 season start

LA pours in 24 in rout of Sacramento

A night after scoring 25 points, LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and eight rebounds to lead the Portland Trail Blazers past Sacramento 101-79 at the Rose Garden.

Gerald Wallace had 25 points, eight rebounds, five assists and blocked two shots as the Blazers improved to 2-0 heading for a home game with Denver Friday.

Portland trailed 44-32 with four minutes left in the second quarter, but finished the half on a 14-2 run and closed the game with a 31-14 run.

The Blazers made just 3 of 18 three-point attempts, but still managed to shoot 44 percent (38 of 85) from the field and had a 25-11 edge in assists.



Portland opened the 2011-12 season with a near-blowout, 107-103 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers Monday at the Rose Garden.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored a game-high 25 points and Gerald Wallace added 21 to lead the Blazers, who saw a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter dwindle to two in the final minute.

Portland got 13 rebounds and six assists from Marcus Camby and outscored Philadelphia 28-15 in points off turnovers.

The Blazers play host to Sacramento, which upset the Los Angeles Lakers Monday, Tuesday night.


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