Thursday, January 24, 2013 12:37 am
Aldridge has 27 and Blazers beat Pacers 100-80
By ANNE M. PETERSONAP Sports Writer
Rookie Damian Lillard added 20 points and eight assists for the Blazers, who also stopped a four-game losing streak at home and avoided dropping five straight at the Rose Garden for the first time since 2006.
J.J. Hickson had 14 points and 13 rebounds for his 24th double-double this season, and Portland shot a season-high 56.4 percent from the floor.
Paul George had 22 points and seven rebounds for the Pacers, who had won seven straight against Western Conference teams, their longest streak since 2004. Indiana (26-17) lost for the third time in 10 games.
The Pacers were coming off an 82-81 victory at Memphis on Monday to open their four-game road trip.
The Blazers (21-21) bounced back from a 98-95 loss to Washington on Monday on Jordan Crawford's buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Nicolas Batum, who had his first career triple-double in that game, hit a 3-pointer that gave the Blazers an early 18-13 lead over the Pacers.
D.J. Augustin tied it at 20 with a 3-pointer to start the second quarter. Augustin hit another 3 to put the Pacers ahead 24-22, but the lead was short-lived and Portland went up 34-26 on rookie Will Barton's running jumper and layup.
Aldridge, who is vying for a spot in the All-Star game, made three consecutive long jumpers for a 44-28 lead as Portland broke it open with a 22-4 run. The Blazers led 44-32 at the half.
Aldridge's dunk made it 55-42 midway through the third quarter. The six-year veteran was a first-time All-Star last season, but is by no means a lock this season. The reserves, selected by the coaches from each conference, will be announced on Thursday.
George is a candidate to nab a reserve spot on the East team.
Lillard's pull-up jumper gave the Blazers a 76-59 lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Blazers' biggest margin of the game was the final score.
The Pacers have lost four straight in Portland.
Notes: The Blazers' first poster night of the season got off to a rocky start because of a printing error. The posters, which feature Hickson, won't be ready until next week. Fans with a ticket stub to Wednesday night's game will be able to get one in the team's fan shop. ... Indiana's 32 first-half points were a season-low for a Portland opponent this season. ... Indiana defeated Portland 99-92 on Dec. 5.