Blazers survive Warriors, injuries


When Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy crumpled to the court, the sellout crowd at the Rose Garden fell silent with concern. Then it happened to Steve Blake.

Emotions ran high Wednesday night in Portland's 109-91 victory over Golden State. But it all ended on a positive note: The injuries didn't appear too serious and the surprising Blazers moved into first place in Northwest Division.

The Trail Blazers have won 17 of their last 18 games, after opening the season 5-12. Portland has won 12 straight games at home, and is 17-3 overall at the Rose Garden.

Since Portland's 13-game winning streak was snapped Dec. 31 at Utah, the team has won four straight.

Blake had a career-high 24 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 19 for the Blazers, who led by as many as 25 points. Joel Przybilla had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

With the victory, Portland took a half-game lead over the Denver Nuggets in their division. They have not been in first place since March 1, 2001, when Portland was 41-18.

"It feels great. We had to win 17 of 18 games just to get here, so we know what it takes to be in first place," Roy said.

The Blazers play their next seven games on the road.

Golden State was led by Matt Barnes with 14 points. Baron Davis, the team's top scorer, had an off night with four points.

The Warriors, coming off a dramatic 130-121 overtime win over San Antonio on Monday, have lost three of their last four.

"The played on all cylinders tonight," Golden State forward Al Harrington said. "They didn't do anything disrespectful, they just did a great job. We have to go back and play better against these guys when we play them again."

The Trail Blazers jumped quickly ahead. Blake's 3-pointer put them up 15-4. A short while later, another 3-pointer from him made it 22-6.

The Blazers took their biggest lead of the first half when Martell Webster's — made it 27-10.

The Warriors narrowed the gap in the second quarter when Stephen Jackson's — pulled Golden State to 40-33.

It didn't last long. The Blazers pulled back into a commanding lead, going up 50-33 with Joel Przybilla's turnaround hook. They led 56-41 at the half.

Portland got a scare in the second quarter when guard Roy appeared to injure his right knee. He fell wincing to the court after he collided with Harrington and had to be helped off by a pair of Portland trainers.

But Roy returned to the game and started the second half, drawing cheers from the sellout crowd at the Rose Garden.

Roy's pullup jumper put Portland ahead 78-53. He finished with eight points, eight assists and eight rebounds.

Roy had missed most of last Saturday night's 103-89 victory over the Jazz because of a bruised tailbone. The guard, last season's Rookie of the Year, was a game-time decision but started.

In the second half, Blake was knocked to the court when Monta Ellis ran into him.

Blake, who was clutching his left calf, had to be helped from the court. The team said he had a contusion and he did not return.

Blake, who was able to walk, said he would know more this morning.

"Right now it's real sore and tender to walk on it," Blake said.

Portland took its biggest lead when James Jones' layup made it 98-71.

"It's humbling for the players and the crowd to see someone go down. Nothing hurts worse than losing players and the crowd saw it twice tonight," Webster said. "We felt as a team a a sense of urgency and stepped it up. We didn't give up and got the victory."


The Warriors signed guard CJ Watson to a 10-day contract the day before. Watson was third-best scorer in the Developmental League this season, averaging 26.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. ... Golden State needs a backup for Davis, who's playing nearly 40 minutes per game. ... Troy Hudson, the veteran signed for the job last summer, has played in just nine games because of a lingering hip injury. ... It was Portland's 11th sellout of the season. Portland is 11-0 in those games.

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