Saturday, April 09, 2011
Sports News

Aldridge, Wallace lead Blazers over Lakers 93-86

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[April 09, 2011]  PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and the Portland Trail Blazers helped prevent the Los Angeles Lakers from locking up the second seed in the Western Conference with a 93-86 victory on Friday night.

Gerald Wallace had 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Blazers, who led by as many as 24 points.

Kobe Bryant had 24 points in the Lakers' fourth straight loss.

Ron Artest hit a pair of 3-pointers that pulled the Lakers to 82-73 late. Aldridge made a jumper but Bryant had a pair of layups that narrowed it to 84-77.

Portland answered with Nicolas Batum's 3-pointer and Gerald Wallace's layup that extended the Blazers' lead to 89-77 and all but sealed the win with 1:14 left.

A victory by the Lakers combined with a loss by the Mavericks on Friday would have secured Los Angeles the West's No. 2 seed.

The Blazers were in a tangle with Memphis and New Orleans for seeding at the bottom of the conference. The team that finishes eighth will face San Antonio in the opening round.

Both the Hornets and Grizzlies won on Friday night, but Portland's victory kept the Blazers in the sixth spot with two games left. The Blazers were coming off a 98-87 victory at Utah the night before.

Portland was without center Marcus Camby, who banged his head on the floor in a collision with David Lee in a loss to the Warriors on Tuesday night. Camby, who strained his neck, has missed two games.

Los Angeles center Andrew Bynum missed shootaround early Friday because of a stomach ailment, but was in the starting lineup at gametime.

Portland took an early 19-14 lead in the first quarter, but the Lakers came back to go up 31-26 on Shannon Brown's long jumper from near the top of the arc.

Portland would respond with 19-2 run that gave the Blazers a 45-33 lead with 3:19 to go before the break.

Bryant almost single-handedly kept the Lakers in it, scoring 18 first-half points, including a 3-pointer that closed the gap to 53-47 at the half.

Matthews' running jumper, off a skillful pass from Andre Miller, put Portland up 59-47. The Blazers extended the lead to 70-50 on Aldridge's dunk.

The Lakers closed the third quarter on a 12-0 run to narrow it to 74-62 on Brown's layup.

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There were some tense moments in the final quarter when words were exchanged between Artest and Wallace. The crowd at the Rose Garden responded by chanting Wallace's name.

Artest responded by hitting his back-to-back 3-pointers.

NOTES: Bryant had four 3-pointers in the first half. ... Trail Blazers great Terry Porter, now a part of the franchise's broadcast team, celebrated his 48th birthday on Friday. ... The Lakers lost four straight earlier this season from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1. ... Bynum fouled out with 2:46 left. ... The Lakers had 17 turnovers to Portland's nine.

[Associated Press; By ANNE M. PETERSON]

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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