NBA Game Summary - Portland at LA Clippers
(Saturday, April 11th)
Final Score: Portland 87, LA Clippers 72
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - LaMarcus Aldridge ended with 21 points and nine rebounds, as the Portland Trail Blazers pulled away to beat the Los Angeles Clippers, 87-72, and keep their hopes of winning the Northwest Division alive.
With the win, Portland (52-28) pulled within a game of idle Denver (53-27) for the division lead. The teams each have one more game before ending the season against each other on Wednesday.
Additionally, the Blazers pulled into a tie with idle Houston for third place in the Western Conference.
Joel Przybilla had 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Blazers, who ended the game on a 21-4 run to take their fourth consecutive win and eighth victory in nine games. Brandon Roy added 15 points and Rudy Fernandez had 13 points off the bench.
"We played a strange schedule this week," Blazers head coach Nate McMillan said. "This was a tough game for our guys. We weren't sharp, but we kept fighting. Mentally, (my players) were drained, but they pushed each other to get the game tonight."
Eric Gordon had 18 points to pace the Clippers, who have lost seven of their last eight. Zach Randolph returned from his two-game suspension to score 13 points and grab six rebounds for LA, while Baron Davis had 12 points.
"A lot of stretches through the game I was happy the way we played," Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy said. "At the end we missed point-blank shots around the bucket. That hurt us. We have to finish. Some of our bigs have to finish shots."
Los Angeles rattled off 10 consecutive points to grab the lead at the start of the fourth quarter. Gordon had two buckets in the run, including a basket that gave the Clippers a 68-66 lead with under eight minutes to go.
Portland, however, responded with an 18-0 stretch. Fernandez drained a pair of three-pointers and made two free throws, while Przybilla ended the run with a dunk for an 84-68 advantage.
It was back-breaking for LA, which stopped the run with a Davis layup. However, Portland cruised to the win from there.
The game was tied at 17 after the first quarter, but Portland scored the final 10 points of the half to take control. Fernandez had the last five points as the Blazers went up 46-31 at the break.
The Clippers scored the first six points of the third quarter to get their deficit to single-digits, though they trailed the rest of the stanza. Portland went into the fourth leading 63-56.
Portland closes its schedule with a contest Monday against Oklahoma City before hosting Denver on Wednesday...The Clippers end their season at Utah (Monday) and against Oklahoma City (Wednesday)...The Blazers shot 44.4 percent, but made just 4-of-16 three-pointers...The Clippers made 38 percent of their shots, including just 2-of-15 threes.
04/12 01:49:44 ET