Monday, March 26, 2012
Sports News


Aldridge, Felton lead Blazers past Warriors 90-87

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[March 26, 2012]  PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Raymond Felton scored 24 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 18, including a fadeaway jumper and two free throws that proved the difference in the final minute, leading the Portland Trail Blazers to a 90-87 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night.

Portland evened its record to 3-3 since Kaleb Canales replaced the fired Nate McMillan.

Brandon Rush hit two straight 3-pointers that gave Golden State an 85-80 lead with 3:37 left. But two free throws later, Felton made a 3 to tie it at 85 with 2:32 left.

Wesley Matthews missed one of two free throws for Portland before David Lee's tip-in gave the Warriors back the lead. Aldridge's jumper put Portland in front with 39.9 seconds left. On the other end, Lee fouled Aldridge, who made his free throws for the final margin.

Golden State rookie Charles Jenkins missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer as the Warriors lost for the sixth time in eight games.

Jenkins finished with a career-high 27 points starting in place of injured guard Nate Robinson, who strained his right hamstring in the Warriors' 111-108 victory over the Kings the previous night, was in uniform but did not play.

Both teams have dealt with upheaval in recent weeks.

The Warriors traded away fan favorite Monta Ellis and have been starting rookie Klay Thompson, who has scored in double figures in the last five games, including 31 points Saturday night against the Kings.

The Blazers dismissed McMillan and traded away starters Marcus Camby and Gerald Wallace at the NBA trade deadline on March 15. Canales was still trying to assimilate newcomers Jonny Flynn and Hasheem Thabeet, as well as forward J.J. Hickson, acquired off waivers from the Kings.

The Blazers jumped out to a 17-11 lead on Aldridge's dunk off a pass from Felton. But the Warriors closed the gap before the first quarter was over, and went ahead 27-26 on Jenkins' pull-up jumper.

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Lee's layup and free throw gave Golden State a 41-33 lead late in the second quarter, and the Warriors were up 45-40 at the break.

Golden State stretched the advantage to 53-45 on Thompson's jumper, but the Blazers closed to 57-56 on Aldridge's dunk before going ahead on consecutive long jumpers from Felton.

The game shifted in Portland's way when Felton grabbed a steal but fell trying to control it, and passed it from the floor to Nicolas Batum, who went in for the fast-break layup and free throw to put Portland ahead 65-59.

Thompson's 3-pointer got the Warriors as close as 70-69 early in the fourth quarter. Jenkins' pull-up jumper and a layup put Golden State in front 75-72, but the Blazers went up 80-77 on Felton's 3-pointer with 5 minutes to go.

The Blazers were coming off a 103-96 loss to the Lakers Friday night at Staples Center.

NOTES: McMillan, fired as the Blazers' coach on March 15, took out a full-page ad in the Oregonian newspaper Sunday, thanking fans for their support: "Coaches come and go but one thing that will never change is the unique bond that Portland and Oregon has with its NBA team," McMillan wrote in the ad. Earlier this week, McMiIllan dropped by the team's practice facility to personally thank the employees there. ... Jenkins' previous career high was 15 at Sacramento on March 13.

[Associated Press; By ANNE M. PETERSON]

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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