Archive for the ‘ Portland Trail Blazers Blog ’ Category

lamarcus aldridge

With Portland on the verge of a massive collapse, LaMarcus Aldridge leaped to swat away Minnesota’s comeback.

The Trail Blazers started their six-game road trip by remedying a sloppy performance with a large dose of their All-Star big man.

Aldridge had 25 points, 13 rebounds and a blocked shot in the closing seconds to help the Blazers hang on to beat the Timberwolves 100-98 on Monday night for their fifth win in their last seven games.

”Teams are going to pressure us, so I think it’s learning,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. ”But winning on the road is not easy and we needed this one.”

Wes Matthews scored 22 points and Damian Lillard added 21, but they each had five of Portland’s 28 turnovers, the most in regulation by any NBA team all season. The Blazers never trailed in the game and led by 19 points with 12 minutes left, but the Wolves went to a small lineup and scored on 20 of their first 22 possessions in the fourth quarter until misfiring on their final two…

Rubio had 10 of his career-high-tying 14 assists in the fourth quarter and finished with 15 points in 34 minutes, both season highs. Cunningham scored a career-high 23 points on 11 for 17 shooting, and Barea added 17 points…

Aldridge was 12 for 17 from the field. All but one of his makes were 15-foot jumpers or further out…

Nicolas Batum, his sore right wrist clearly still bothering him, finished with four points and a team-high seven turnovers. He has only 39 points in his last five games, less than half of his season average of nearly 16 points per game.

– Reported by Dave Campbell of the Associated Press

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month, respectively, for games played in January.

Beal, who wins his second consecutive Kia Rookie of the Month award, led all Eastern Conference rookies in scoring (15.1 ppg) and three-point field goal percentage (.508), and finished second in minutes (32.9 mpg) and third in assists (2.5 apg). Beal became the first rookie since Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry in 2010 to shoot .500 or better from three-point range in a calendar month with at least 50 attempts.

Lillard, who wins his third consecutive Kia Rookie of the Month award, led all rookies in scoring (17.7 ppg), assists (6.8 apg) and minutes (39.6 mpg). Among all NBA players this season, Lillard ranks 19th in scoring (18.1 ppg), 13th in assists (6.5 apg) and seventh in three-pointers made (102). Lillard recorded his eighth game this season of 20-plus points and eight-plus assists on Jan. 23 during a 100-80 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Rookies of the Month were Cleveland’s Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller, Detroit’s Andre Drummond and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis.

greg oden

Asked if he was playing at all, Oden said, “I’m just getting my knee ready so when things do happen I’ll be ready to play next year.

“I’m still in the rehab process, but I’m it taking slow. I could possibly be playing at this point, but I’ve done that before and I got injured before, so I’d rather take everything I am doing slow. Right now I’m just doing strength stuff with my knees.”

He said he was confident he would return to the NBA.

“I like how my knee is going, the way it’s going,” he said. “I still like the time I’m taking, just to make sure nothing happens. You can’t predict the future. But if it doesn’t happen, I’m happy.”

– Reported by Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer

lamarcus aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge’s buzzer-beating shot had barely left his hands when teammate Nicolas Batum raised his arms in victory.

Aldridge’s turnaround jumper fell as time ran out and the Portland Trail Blazers came back from a 21-point third-quarter deficit to beat the Dallas Mavericks 106-104 on Tuesday night.

”I knew,” Batum said. ”I knew he was going to make it.”

Aldridge finished with 29 points and 13 rebounds for Portland, which trailed 101-94 with 2:18 left. J.J. Hickson had a season-high 26 points and 15 rebounds for his 25th double-double…

Dirk Nowitzki finished with 26 points for Dallas, which had won six of its last eight games.

”We cannot let Aldridge get set on the block 10 feet from the basket and let him turn around and shoot a wide-open shot,” Nowitzki said. ”We make those mistakes, especially on the road, and you are going to get bit.”

The Mavericks were without center Chris Kaman, who sustained a concussion in a collision during practice on Monday, according to coach Rick Carlisle. There was no timetable for Kaman’s return. He is averaging 12.4 points and 6.2 rebounds this season.

– Reported by Anne M. Peterson of the Associated Press

Nic Batum gets triple-double

Nicolas Batum had 20 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high 12 assists for his second triple-double in a week and the Portland Trail Blazers handed the Los Angeles Clippers their fourth straight loss with a 101-100 victory on Saturday night.

The Clippers, playing without guard Chis Paul for the third straight game because of a bruised right kneecap, trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half but reclaimed the lead in the fourth quarter.

They held off the Blazers until Wesley Matthews pulled Portland within 100-99 with a layup and free throw.

J.J. Hickson made a pair of foul shots to give the Blazers back the lead with 45 seconds left and Jamal Crawford missed a 19-foot jumper for the Clippers with 0.9 seconds left for the final margin.

Blake Griffin had 24 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Clippers, just shy of his third career triple-double.

The Clippers are 3-3 in the six total games Paul has missed because of his kneecap.

Eric Bledsoe once again started in the All-Star guard’s place…

The Clippers have been without guard Chauncey Billups since Dec. 5 because of tendinitis in his left foot. Billups, Del Negro said, is improving, although there is still no timetable for his return. … DeNegro said he thought Clippers sixth man Jamal Crawford - who played for the Blazers last year - should have made the All-Star team. Crawford is averaging 16.7 points and playing starter’s minutes (29.3 per game) with the Clippers. ”Obviously I’m biased,” Del Negro said. ”Jamal has been fantastic for us.”

– Reported by Anne M. Peterson of the Associated Press

Wilson Chandler

Wilson Chandler admitted feeling a bit winded and tired in his second game back from hip problems that had sidelined him for two months. Not enough to bother his shooting touch, though.

Chandler hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 14.9 seconds remaining in overtime, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 115-111 Tuesday night for their season-best sixth consecutive victory.

”The way the game was going for me, I was a little fatigued,” said Chandler, who had a labral tear in his left hip repaired last spring and then had to take time off in early November when pain resurfaced in the surgically-repaired hip.

”I had a little muscle fatigue, so I was kind of struggling throughout the game. So to come in and hit a shot like that is big,” Chandler said.

Danilo Gallinari added 25 points, including a key 3-pointer in the extra period. Ty Lawson had 24 points and 12 assists for the Nuggets, who are 2-0 in overtime this season…

Portland, which lost for the first time in six OT games this season, was led by LaMarcus Aldridge’s 28 points. Nicolas Batum had 22 points, J.J. Hickson 19 and Damian Lillard 16.

– Reported by Dennis Georgatos of the Associated Press

Blazers come from behind to beat Heat

wesley matthews

The upstart Portland Trail Blazers would not allow the Miami Heat to pull out of its funk.

Wesley Matthews hit a 3-pointer to put Portland in front with 26.9 seconds left and the Blazers hung on to beat Miami 92-90 Thursday night for their fourth straight win and ninth straight at the Rose Garden.

The Blazers (20-15) are now 12-3 in their last 15 games.

”Our confidence is extremely high,” Matthews said. ”Playing hard, playing well, we’re having fun out there. So that’s a great combination.”

The Heat, meanwhile, have lost two straight and five of eight, yet the defending NBA champions are still 23-11 and lead the Eastern Conference by a half-game over New York.

LeBron James had 15 points, snapping his 54-game streak with at least 20 points that dated back to last season. It was his lowest point total in the last 76 regular-season and playoff contests. But James did have 10 rebounds and nine assists against Portland…

Batum led the Blazers with 28 points, and Aldridge had 20 points and 15 rebounds. Matthews finished with 18 points.

”It felt great,” Matthews said about his go-ahead 3. ”It looked better.”

Bosh had 29 points for the Eastern Conference-leading Heat, who were coming off an 87-77 loss to the Pacers on Tuesday night. Dwyane Wade had 18 points.

– Reported by Anne M. Peterson of the Associated Press

Greg Oden

Nearly a year removed from his latest knee surgery, former No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden has decided to resume his playing career but is not planning to return to the NBA before the 2013-14 season, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources told ESPN.com that multiple teams have already expressed interest in signing Oden to a multi-year deal before the end of this season that would allow him to continue his rehab until he can get back on the court in training camp next fall.

The Miami Heat are at the front of the line in pursuing Oden, two sources said, and have been keeping tabs as he recovers while also taking classes at Ohio State.

Sources say that the Heat, though, are not alone in their pursuit of the former No. 1 overall pick.

– Reported by Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein of ESPN.com

The Portland Trail Blazers have recalled guards Nolan Smith and Will Barton from the team’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Idaho Stampede, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.

Portland assigned Smith and Barton to the Stampede on Sunday, Jan. 6. The guards played in both of Idaho’s games at the 2013 NBA D-League Showcase in Reno, Nev., on Monday, Jan. 7 and Tuesday, Jan. 8.

Smith posted averages of 22.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.00 steal and 38.0 minutes per game. Smith led Idaho with a game-high 28 points on Jan. 7 against Texas.

Barton averaged 14.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.50 steals and 33.5 minutes per contest. The first-year guard out of Memphis tied for the team lead in rebounds (8) and assists (6) vs. Texas on Jan. 7.

Both players will be in Portland for today’s practice and are available for tomorrow’s game vs. Miami.

Wesley Matthews thinks the Trail Blazers are better suited for overtime.

That made it tough on the Orlando Magic, who were handed their ninth straight loss in Portland’s 125-119 overtime victory on Monday night. The Blazers have won all five of their games that have gone into extra periods this season.

LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Matthews finished with 24 points - including a dunk that all but sealed it with less than a minute left.

Both teams were clearly exhausted by the end.

”It’s alright. We’ll take it,” Matthews said. ”For whatever reason, this team is built for overtime. I’d rather not go into it, I’d rather win it in regulation. But we dug deep.”

J.J. Hickson added 20 points and 15 rebounds for his 20th double-double this season for the Blazers, who have won three straight overall and 11 of their last 14 games.

It was Portland’s eighth straight win at the Rose Garden.

Nicolas Batum, who finished with 16 points and 10 assists, said Portland’s OT successes are a credit to how well the players have come to know each other.

– Reported by Anne M. Peterson of the Associated Press

will barton

The Portland Trail Blazers have assigned guards Will Barton and Nolan Smith to the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Trail Blazers General Manager Neil Olshey.

The two players will join the Stampede for the NBA Development League Showcase in Reno, Nev. The Stampede are first scheduled to play on Monday, Jan. 7, against Texas.

Barton appeared in two games (both starts) with the Stampede from Dec. 7-8, posting averages of 19.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in 42.0 minutes per game. The 6-foot-6 rookie has played in 28 games for the Trail Blazers this season, averaging 2.9 points and 1.4 rebounds in 10.1 minutes. Barton was selected by the Trail Blazers with the 40 th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

In 18 games this season with the Trail Blazers, Smith is averaging 2.5 points and 1.2 assists in 8.2 minutes per game. Now in his second NBA season, Smith was selected by the Trail Blazers with the 21 st pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Wesley matthews

The Portland Trail Blazers turned up the defense down the stretch to turn back the Grizzlies.

Wesley Matthews scored 21 points, J.J. Hickson added 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Portland beat Memphis 86-84 on Friday night.

Rudy Gay’s jumper from near the top of the key was off the mark as time expired, allowing the Trail Blazers to escape a closely played game that saw nine ties and 21 lead changes.

”I thought we played very good team defense,” said LaMarcus Aldridge, who had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Portland. ”We played their tendencies very well down the stretch. We had talked about it all game, about knowing what guys were going to do, and I thought down the stretch we guarded that.”

Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard added 11 points apiece for the Trail Blazers, Lillard also handing out eight assists, as Portland won for the ninth time in its last 12 games.

Marreese Speights had a season-high 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Grizzlies in place of Zach Randolph, who missed the game with flu-like symptoms. Gay had 19 points, but was 8 of 21 from the field.

Marc Gasol scored 12 points and had a career-best eight blocks. Darrell Arthur contributed 10 points off the Memphis bench.

– Reported by Clay Bailey of the Associated Press

Terrence Ross

The last time they played Portland, the Toronto Raptors were at their worst. On Wednesday night, they showed just how much they’ve turned things around.

Terrence Ross scored a career-high 26 points, DeMar DeRozan had 24 and the Raptors snapped an eight-game losing streak against Portland by beating the Trail Blazers 102-79.

”This team beat us by a lot last time,” Ross said. ”We had to get our revenge.”

Ross and the Raptors were bent on reversing what happened in their most recent meeting with the Blazers: an 18-point loss at Portland on Dec. 10, the final game in an 0-5 road trip in which starters Kyle Lowry and Andrea Bargnani left injured, Amir Johnson was ejected for throwing his mouthguard at a referee and the Blazers won despite setting an NBA record for shooting futility, missing all 20 of their 3-point attempts.

”They hit bottom when they came to Portland,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said before the rematch.

Things sure have changed. This was Toronto’s eighth win in nine games, a surge that has wiped out talk of coaching changes and locker room discord…

Ed Davis had 19 points and Amir Johnson 17 in Toronto’s first victory over the Trail Blazers since a 116-109 double-overtime win on Jan. 13, 2008.

Ross had a career-best six 3-pointers as the Raptors opened their season-high six-game homestand in style, never trailing and leading by as many as 25.

– Reported by Ian Harrison of the Associated Press

Nicolas Batum

The Portland Trail Blazers overcame Carmelo Anthony’s season high-tying 45 points and spoiled Amare Stoudemire’s season debut, beating the New York Knicks 105-100 on Tuesday night.

Nicolas Batum scored 26 points, Damian Lillard had 21 points, six assists and five rebounds, and LaMarcus Aldridge had 19 points and 14 rebounds for Portland.

Stoudemire finished with six points on 3-of-8 shooting and one rebound in 17 minutes off the bench in his return from knee surgery. Anthony shot 14 of 24 and nearly led the Knicks back from 19 points down after missing two games with a knee injury, but the Trail Blazers had too many options.

J.J. Hickson scored all of his 18 points in the first half as Portland won for the third time in four games.

Anthony had missed the previous two games with a hyperextended left knee. The Knicks are still without point guard Raymond Felton because of a broken pinky finger and struggled to get their offense going until too late, losing for the third time in four games.

J.R. Smith had 28 points and 11 rebounds for the Knicks.

Stoudemire had surgery on Oct. 31 to clean up tissue in his left knee and decided to play after going through a couple of practices this week, though adding he wasn’t yet 100 percent.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

DeMarcus Cousins

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is not with the team and will not play against the Portland Trail Blazers.

It was coach Keith Smart’s decision not to bring Cousins on the trip.

Cousins was reinstated from an indefinite suspension Monday, but Smart said reinstatement meant Cousins would be allowed to practice, not necessarily play.

This will be the second game Cousins has missed since his verbal altercation at halftime of last Friday’s loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles.

– Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee (Blog)

JJ Hickson

J.J. Hickson had 18 points and 18 rebounds for his sixth straight double-double, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Denver Nuggets 101-93 on Thursday night.

Nicolas Batum had 22 points to give the Blazers their first four-game winning streak of the season despite missing forward LaMarcus Aldridge because of a sprained left ankle.

The Nuggets were 0 for 22 from 3-point range, breaking the NBA record of 20 misses set by the Trail Blazers in a game against Toronto last week. Seventy-four of Denver’s point came in the paint.

The Blazers led by as many as 18 in the first half and while the Nuggets were able to close the gap, they were never able to pull even…

Portland saw the return of Matthews, who missed two games with a sore hip, then tried to return against the Hornets but played only about four minutes. The injury had put Matthews on the bench in street clothes for the first time in his four-year NBA career. He had played in 250 straight games, second-most among active players behind Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook…

Ty Lawson, Andre Iguodala and Corey Brewer had 13 points each for the Nuggets.

– Reported by Anne M. Peterson of the Associated Press

damian lillard

Rookie Damian Lillard hit a 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds left and the Portland Trail Blazers handed New Orleans its sixth straight loss with a 95-94 victory over the Hornets on Sunday night.

After trailing by as many as 16, Austin Rivers hit a 3-pointer for the Hornets to tie it at 92 with 50.9 seconds left. The Blazers then absorbed a blow when LaMarcus Aldridge suddenly came up limping and headed to the locker room with what appeared to be a left ankle injury, but Lillard came through to give Portland the win.

The winning shot appeared to come at the buzzer but a review put the fraction back on the clock. Lance Thomas made a layup for the Hornets as time ran out for the final margin.

J.J. Hickson had a season-high 24 points and added 16 rebounds for the Blazers, who have won three straight. Hickson has five straight double-doubles and 13 overall this season.

Ryan Anderson had 26 points, including seven 3-pointers, for New Orleans.

Aldridge, whose condition was not immediately available, finished with 20 points before leaving the game and Lillard had 16.

– Reported by Anne M. Peterson of the Associated Press

The Portland Trail Blazers have recalled forwards Victor Claver and Joel Freeland from the team’s NBA Development League affiliate, the Idaho Stampede, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.

Portland assigned Claver and Freeland to the Stampede on Dec. 14. The two rookies played in both of Idaho’s games vs. Santa Cruz this weekend in Boise.

Freeland posted averages of 20.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 37.0 minutes in the two contests. Freeland led the Stampede in scoring on Dec. 14 with 22 points.

Claver averaged 6.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 3.0 steals and 34.0 minutes in two games with Idaho. He recorded five steals against Santa Cruz on Dec. 14.

Both players will be available for Portland’s contest vs. New Orleans tonight.

The Portland Trail Blazers have assigned forwards Victor Claver and Joel Freeland to the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by Trail Blazers General Manager Neil Olshey.

The two players will join the Stampede today, Dec. 14, and will be active in advance of the team’s contests against the Santa Cruz Warriors tonight and tomorrow, Dec. 15, in Boise.

Claver played with the Stampede on Dec. 7 and 8, posting averages of 11.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 1.00 steal and 33.5 minutes in the two contests. Claver has appeared in six games with Portland this season, and averages 0.8 points, 1.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists and 10.2 minutes per contest. Claver was selected by the Trail Blazers with the 22nd pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, and signed with Portland on July 11, 2012.

In 12 games this year with the Trail Blazers, Freeland is averaging 2.2 points, 1.8 rebounds, 0.4 assists and 10.2 minutes per game. Freeland signed with Portland on July 13, 2012, after being selected by the Trail Blazers with the 30th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft.

Damian Lillard scores 29, Blazers beat Spurs

Rookie guard Damian Lillard had a career-high 29 points and the Portland Trail Blazers handed the San Antonio Spurs their second straight loss with a 98-90 victory Thursday night.

The Spurs, who have lost only six games this season, trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half but Manu Ginobili’s layup cut the deficit to 89-85. J.J. Hickson answered for the Blazers with a running hook that made it 91-85 with 2:36 left.

Danny Green hit a 3-pointer to pull the Spurs closer again, but Portland clung to the lead and Nicolas Batum—who has been bothered by a sore back— made a 3 that gave Portland a 96-90 advantage with 1:08 left. Batum hit two free throws with 8 seconds to go for the final margin.

It was Lillard’s 13th game this season with 20 or more points. LaMarcus Aldridge added 22 points for the Blazers and Hickson finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Tony Parker had 21 points for the Spurs, who were coming off a 99-96 loss at Utah on Wednesday night that snapped a five-game winning streak…

The Blazers were without starter Wesley Matthews for the second straight game…

– Reported by Anne M. Peterson of the Associated Press

Basketball blog