Blazers make it nine in a row


Brandon Roy wasn't going to let a bout with the flu mess with the streak.

Roy was ailing, but didn't play like it. He had 25 points, nine rebounds and eight assists to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to their ninth straight win &

a 101-96 victory over the Toronto Raptors Wednesday night.

"I was hurting a little bit, but we're doing something special right now so I didn't want that to get in the way," Roy said.

Roy, the Western Conference player of the week for the past two weeks, was taking little time to savor the win, let alone ponder his health.

"Nine is great but we're looking forward to 10," Roy said.

Roy and the Blazers will get their chance on Friday when they host the Denver Nuggets.

Portland, 11-3 at home and 14-12 overall, has won nine straight games for the first time since they won 12 in a row during the 2001-02 season.

It was Roy's eighth game during the streak with 20 or more points.

"He's not just having a hot streak," coach Nate McMillan said. "What we're seeing out of him is what he is capable of doing."

After trailing the entire second half, the Blazers evened it at 87 on Travis Outlaw's free throws with 6:08 to go. Roy followed up with a layup to put Portland ahead.

The Blazers held on to the slim lead, but Toronto appeared to gain momentum when Jose Calderon's layup narrowed it to 97-93 with 1:47 left.

The Blazers deliberately slowed the pace with the lead, and went up 99-94 on James Jones' free throws when he was fouled by Jason Kapono with 11.7 seconds left.

Chris Bosh's dunk got Toronto closer, but Jones was again fouled and made both of his shots for the final margin with 8.4 seconds to go.

LaMarcus Aldridge, the Blazers' leading scorer and rebounder, returned after missing the last five games because of a heel injury. He had 15 points and seven rebounds, and Martell Webster also scored 15 points. Portland outscored Toronto 25-13 in the third quarter.

Calderon had 18 points and nine assists for the Raptors, while Chris Bosh added 18 points and 11 rebounds.

The Blazers beat visiting New Orleans 88-76 on Monday. The Raptors were coming off an 80-77 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night, the first of a seven-game road trip.

"We didn't play the best game and we were on a second game of a back-to-back," Calderon said. "But we have to look at the positive side and try to work on that."

The Raptors, winners of five of their previous six games, threatened several times in the first half to pull away, but couldn't extend the lead to more than double digits. The main obstacle was Roy, who was 6-for-7 from the field for 16 first-half points.

Anthony Parker's 3-pointer with 3:26 to go before the break put Toronto ahead 50-42, but Aldridge's jumper and Roy's 3-pointer narrowed it again for the Blazers.

Toronto stayed in front to lead 56-51 at the half.

The Blazers were able to keep it close through the third quarter, and came within 76-74 on Webster's slam dunk. But then Toronto began to pull away &

Parker hit a 3-pointer before Kris Humphries added a hook shot and a layup to make it 83-76.

Roy didn't practice Tuesday because of the flu. Over the course of the streak, he is averaging 24.2 points.

"Brandon's playing at a level that probably only 10 other people in the league are playing at right now," Blazers' general manager Kevin Pritchard said.

Notes: Toronto's T.J. Ford missed his fifth straight game because of a head injury sustained Dec. 11 against Atlanta. ... Several members of the Oregon State Beavers football team attended the game. The Beavers are preparing to play Maryland in the Emerald Bowl on Dec. 28. ... Also at the game was Boston Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who is from Madras, Ore., and attended Oregon State. ... The Blazers now are on the best active winning streak in the NBA, after Denver lost to Detroit on Wednesday night.

Share This Story