Webster shows off range, leads Blazers to win over Clippers


Now this is what the Portland Trail Blazers would like to see out of Martell Webster &

on a regular basis, of course.

Webster scored 28 points and the Portland Trail Blazers opened the preseason Wednesday with a 111-102 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Twenty-two of Webster's points came in the second half.

"This is what we were hoping for from him for the past two years. He showed tonight the kind of shooting touch that lets people know why we drafted him so high," Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan said.

"With him it's been a matter of consistency. If he can continue to do that it will be a great step forward."

Webster is well aware of what the Blazers need out of him this season.

"Everybody knows I can do that," Webster said. "That's what they want to see."

LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points and six rebounds for the Blazers, while Channing Frye, acquired as part of a draft-night trade that sent forward Zach Randolph to the New York Knicks, had 15 points.

Webster's 3-pointer late in the third quarter kicked off a 17-4 run that was capped by another Webster — and gave the Blazers a 95-79 lead.

Webster, drafted with the sixth overall pick of the 2005 draft, noted that it was just the first preseason game for the Blazers.

"It really doesn't mean much. It's practice," he said. "The main thing is to have carryover when the season starts."

Blazers guard Steve Blake hit a jumper at the halftime buzzer to give the Blazers a 58-56 lead. Blake returned to the Blazers in the offseason after stints in Milwaukee and Denver.

Sam Cassell, who did not play in the Clippers' preseason opener against the Nuggets, had 21 points, including 16 points in the first quarter. The Clippers lost 119-107 at Denver on Tuesday night.

Al Thornton added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers.

"Our guys played hard and I saw some improvement," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "That's what this is about. It's the preseason &

we didn't play great. We have a lot of room to get better."

Blazers guard Brandon Roy, last season's Rookie of the Year, sat out because of heel inflammation.

Top overall draft pick Greg Oden was cheered as he hobbled to the bench on crutches. Oden will miss his rookie season with the Blazers after having microfracture surgery on his right knee.

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