Aldridge leads way as Blazers blow away Bobcats

PORTLAND — LaMarcus Aldridge scored 17 points and Nicolas Batum and Jerryd Bayless had 15 points each and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Charlotte Bobcats 98-79 Monday night.

Portland, which had lost its previous two home games, got off to a 10-2 start and never looked back in ending Charlotte's three-game winning streak.

Portland had six players score in double figures. Rudy Fernandez scored 11 points, while Martell Webster and Dante Cunningham had 10. Andre Miller, who had 52 points on Saturday, had eight points and 10 assists for the Blazers.

Charlotte, playing its fifth road game in seven days, was led by Steven Jackson's 23 points. Gerald Wallace had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Bobcats.

Portland took advantage of the Bobcats from the outset. The Blazers closed out the first quarter with consecutive 3-pointers by Fernandez and Steve Blake to take a 29-19 lead.

Neither team scored more than four consecutive points during the second quarter, and as a result, the Blazers were able to take a 51-43 lead into halftime.

The Blazers built a 60-46 lead early in the third quarter, but Charlotte rebounded when Jackson scored back-to-back baskets to key a 10-0 run and cut Portland's advantage to four. The Blazers quickly returned the margin to double digits, but a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Ronald Murray cut Portland's lead to 72-65 heading into the fourth quarter.

Charlotte got within 76-70 early in the quarter when Portland went on an 8-1 run to stretch its lead to 13 points. The Blazers maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the game.

Notes: Portland guard Brandon Roy missed Monday's game and will also sit out Wednesday's game at Utah due to a right hamstring injury. The Blazers said Roy will be evaluated Thursday prior to their game against San Antonio. Last Thursday, Roy was selected as a reserve on the West All-Star squad.

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