PHOENIX (AP) — History and a tepid shooting performance were working against the Portland Trail Blazers.
But, they also had LaMarcus Aldridge.
The All-Star forward made shots on five straight possessions late in the fourth quarter, finishing with 27 points in the Blazers’ 87-81 win Friday night over the Phoenix Suns.
Portland made just 36 of 89 shots for the game and had not won in Phoenix since December 2010, a streak of seven straight losses. The Blazers, though, used a 15-2 run over 4:45 of the fourth quarter to grab an 85-76 lead, with Aldridge knocking down turnaround jumpers over double teams. He had 10 points in the last 3:26, and finished with nine rebounds.
“I was just trying to find a rhythm, and then I made one shot, and then kind of played off of that,” Aldridge said. “My teammates kept looking for me. I was just trying to make shots for us.”
Former Sun Robin Lopez added 12 points and 10 rebounds for Northwest Division-leading Portland, which has won two straight after a five-game losing streak.
Coach Terry Stotts said that while Aldridge helped turn the tide of a game the Blazers trailed by eight early in the fourth quarter, defense was also key.
“I’m really proud of the way we continued to compete,” Stotts said.
Marcus Morris led the Suns with 19 points and 12 rebounds, and twin brother Markieff added 15 and nine, respectively, but the Suns lost ground in Oklahoma City for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Phoenix is 3
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