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Blazers win fifth straight, Pistons’ skid hits 13

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge had 23 points and 11 rebounds, Wesley Matthews scored 19 points, and the Portland Trail Blazers picked up their fifth straight victory with a 98-86 win over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.

Detroit lost its 13th in a row, one short of the franchise record set in 1979-80 and tied in 1993-94. Those were both aging teams, with the second group marking the end of the Bad Boys era at the Palace. The current Pistons haven’t had a winning season or won a playoff game in seven years.

Greg Monroe had 22 points and 10 rebounds for Detroit, which only got 40 points from its starting lineup.

The pattern of the game was established early, as Portland was able to convert most possessions into good scoring opportunities, while the Pistons struggled to finish at the rim. Detroit, one of the worst teams at scoring inside despite the presence of Josh Smith, Andre Drummond and Monroe, shot 44 percent in the paint in the first half.

Portland’s defense slowly took control in the third quarter, holding the Pistons to 22 percent shooting (4 for 18) and expanding the lead to as many as 17 points. It was 76-62 going into the fourth, but the Pistons finally put together enough baskets and stops to make a run.

Monroe’s layup pulled Detroit within 81-77 with 7:12 to play, but Aldridge hit two straight baskets and Damian Lillard rattled home a 3-pointer to keep the Pistons at bay.

TIP-INS

BLAZERS: Chris Kaman, a native Michigander who played his college basketball at Central Michigan, was 6 of 8 in the first half for 12 points. . Portland has beaten Detroit four straight times, and has won in five of its last seven visits to the Palace.

PISTONS: Detroit had three previous 13-game losing streaks, including one each in the 1979-80 and 1993-94 seasons after the 14-game skid. The third came in 2009-10, which also featured an 11-game losing streak. … Jodie Meeks, who has missed the entire season with a stress fracture in his back, is expected to resume practicing this week and could play on Detroit’s upcoming three-game road trip.

UP NEXT

BLAZERS: Host Minnesota on Wednesday.

PISTONS: Visit Phoenix on Friday.

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