LaMarcus Adridge

Blazers get back to winning

Lopez returns and Portland beats improving Utah 103-102 to end skid
Feb. 3, 2015 / Associated Press

PORTLAND - With Robin Lopez’s return, the Trail Blazers seemed more at ease. Even a late threat from the Utah Jazz seemed surmountable.

“I think everybody was just more comfortable knowing he was out there,” said guard Damian Lillard, who had 25 points as Portland held off the Jazz 103-102.

Lopez fractured his right hand in a Dec. 15 game against San Antonio and missed 23 games. The 7-foot-center was badly missed.

“Not only does he help the starting unit, he just helps the team all together because it sets rotations. Everybody is back to what they’re accustomed, where they’ve been playing for so long,” Wesley Matthews said.

Lopez’s return, and the victory, came at the right time for the Blazers, who had lost three straight and five of their last six going into Tuesday night’s game.

After wrestling for the lead to start the fourth quarter, Matthews hit two straight 3-pointers and the Blazers went up 98-89 with 3:26 left.

Gordon Hayward’s 3 closed the Jazz to within 99-96, but Lillard answered with a driving layup. Joe Ingles hit another 3 for the Jazz to pull within 101-99 with 9.9 seconds left.

LaMarcus Aldridge made free throws before Trey Burke hit a 3-pointer with 0.9 seconds to go. Lillard missed his first free throw on the other end, then missed the second one intentionally and time ran out on Utah.

Aldridge finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Lopez had 11 points and six rebounds, held to just over 25 minutes on the floor.

Hayward finished with 27 points for the Jazz, who were coming off 110-100 victory over the Western Conference-leading Warriors.

“We’ve gone from losing nine straight to being able to play with the best teams in the league, so we’ve just got to figure out how to be more consistent,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said.

Portland was coming off a 95-88 loss at Milwaukee on Saturday night, concluding a futile three-game road trip.

Lopez, wearing a black wrap on his hand, made his first shot of the night, a dunk. His return sparked the Blazers, who got off to a 27-23 start after the first quarter.

“Any basketball player would prefer to be on the court rather than on the bench,” Lopez said afterward.

Nicolas Batum, who has been struggling with a sore wrist, hit a 3-pointer that made it 42-35, but the Jazz evened it up at 42 on Trey Burke’s layup and a pair of free throws. Hayward’s 3-pointer gave the Jazz a 47-44 lead at the half.

Portland regained a 57-50 lead early in the second on Lopez’s layup and pushed the advantage to as many as 11 points. But the Jazz answered with a 12-5 run to tie it at 62 after Hayward’s layup.

The Jazz responded to cut Portland’s lead to 72-70 going into the fourth quarter. The two teams wrestled back-and-forth the rest of the way.

“Even though tonight was a loss, we played really well, just not enough to win,” Hayward said. “So I think we try to learn from this one.”

Blazers race past Heat

A big third quarter pushes Portland to a 99-83 win over Miami
Jan. 8, 2015

PORTLAND - It was a perfect setup for Portland. The Trail Blazers needed a big third quarter to get back into the game, and Miami has been all-too-generous of late in that period.

The result was a dominant second half by Portland, as LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and 12 rebounds in a 99-83 win over the Heat.

Wesley Matthews scored 18 points, Damian Lillard 16 and Chris Kaman 10 for Portland. The Blazers (28-8) tied Golden State for most wins in the NBA this season.

Portland trailed 48-43 at halftime after getting beat in nearly every statistical category and shooting 2 of 14 from 3-point range. The Blazers needed a boost, and found a willing participant in the Heat, who haven’t fared well during third quarters this season, particularly the past few weeks.

Portland outscored Miami 33-16 in the third, jumping on the Heat (15-21) by starting the period on a 17-6 run. Matthews and Lillard hit back-to-back 3-pointers during the first 3 minutes, then Kaman scored six consecutive points -- all on layups.

The Blazers, outrebounded 26-22 in the first half, beat Miami 13-3 on the boards during the third quarter.

“I think we got back to our tempo. In the first half, we kind of played at their pace,” Matthews said.

Portland coach Terry Stotts said he went with a bigger lineup in the second half.

“We just came out with a little more energy, a little more focus,” Stotts said. “We played a very good defensive second half. Obviously the third quarter made a big difference. We got a rhythm to our shots, got out and played in the flow a little bit. ... The second half was the way we needed to play.”

The third quarter performance left Miami coach Eric Spoelstra frustrated, but not surprised. In their last three losses, the Heat have been outscored 102-46 in the third.

“It’s simply not enough. We need a breakthrough in those moments. We have to find a way. Tonight it was simply a matter of not playing hard enough during those minutes when they made their run,” Spoelstra said.

“Look, we’ve seen this movie. We can play with anyone, anywhere, in any building for 42 minutes. That ain’t enough in this league.”

Dwyane Wade led Miami with 23 points. Chris Bosh had 18 and Hassan Whiteside 10 for the Heat.

Portland was buoyed by a season-low seven turnovers.

“The past few games we’ve been seeing how many holes we can dig ourselves out of, so we were taking better care of the ball tonight,” Matthews said.

Leading 74-62 heading into the fourth quarter, the Blazers broke it open when Matthews and Allen Crabbe hit consecutive 3-pointers to key an 8-0 run that gave Portland an 86-69 lead. The Blazers led by as many as 23 points.

Sportsland, Oregon: 10/18/2010

Tue, 10/19/2010 - 11:04am
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In this week's episode, Los and the Oregonsports.com crew discuss the year's first BCS Rankings. They also commend OSU for its 2ot loss to Washington, and apologize to PSU for causing their last second heartbreaker.

In a Special Edition NBA Preview, Lostradamus and the Oregonsports.com crew analyze everything you need to know about the upcoming NBA season. From the Blazers' outlook to the end of year awards, plus playoff predictions and teams to watch out for. They also come up with a new nickname for LaMarcus Aldridge at the end of the show, in addition to the usual weekly segments.

Check it out at: SportslandOregon.blogspot.com  or at blogtalkradio.com/oregonsportsradio

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