Trail Blazers vs Bobcats Saturday, 03/05/11 AT 07:00PM

Trail Blazers Ride Third-Quarter Surge To Rout Bobcats

  1. Written by: Grant Lucas  / avg. rating: 5.0

    After a slow start to open the game, the Portland Trail Blazers (35-27) used an 18-3 surge in the third quarter to pull away from the Charlotte Bobcats (26-36) en route to a 93-69 rout at the Rose Garden on Saturday night.

    "We played defensed to try to keep it close," LaMarcus Aldridge said. "We finally found our rhythm in the second half. That was big for us, making shots, getting stops and just running out."

    The Trail Blazers, led by Aldridge's 26 points and seven rebounds, won their fourth-straight matchup with Charlotte, holding the Bobcats to a season-low in points. Portland also kept the Bobcats from exceeding 80 points for the fourth consecutive contest, marking the first time the Trail Blazers have done so to any opponent.

    Helping out was Patty Mills, who hit a career-high tying four three-pointers and finished with 12 points off the bench, while Brandon Roy tallied 10 points as a reserve - eight coming in the final quarter. Marcus Camby pulled in a game-high 10 rebounds to go along with nine points.

    "I think we couldn't really get our rhythm offensively in the first half," Mills said. "I think that's because we couldn't get stops defensively. It was pretty poor in the first half. We couldn't get the ball in transition. Once we got stops in the second half, we were able to run and get that flow."

    Gerald Wallace made his first appearance against his old team, chipping in with seven points and six rebounds.

    Gerald Henderson paced Charlotte with 16 points, while D.J. Augustin posted 14 points. Augustin, however, committed six turnovers. As a team, the Bobcats committed 22 turnovers.

    "We couldn't get into anything," Henderson said. "They really do a good job of pressuring up. Patty Mills was really working our point guards, and then they do a good job of trying to deny on the wings. It just was really tough to get into anything in the second half."

    The Trail Blazers took advantage of Charlotte miscues, turning those 22 turnovers into 31 points.

    "We wanted to be aggressive, trapping this team," Head Coach Nate McMillan said. "The hustle game, we felt like we had to win that. That was probably the one area, if we allow them to win, could give them a chance to win games."

    In their first game back at the Rose Garden since being traded to the Bobcats on Feb. 24, Joel Przybilla recorded five points and two rebounds before fouling out, while Dante Cunningham registered four points and three boards.

    "It was great," Przybilla said of the warm reception he got when he took the floor. "I don't know what to say. I've had a couple reception when I came back from injury, and this one. I'll remember this until the day I die."

    Portland hit its first four shots of the game, but cooled off for the next couple of minutes, missing seven consecutive attempts as the Bobcats grabbed an early 10-8 lead.

    Charlotte carried a 16-15 edge into the second and held its lead for the first 10:55 of the period before the Trail Blazers rode a 10-0 spurt to propel themselves to a 45-35 lead at the half that was capped off by a Wesley Matthews' three-ball with 0.8 seconds remaining, as the Bobcats went scoreless for the final 2:41.

    The Bobcats came out aggressive in the second half, hitting their first five shots and putting together an 8-2 run to regain the lead at 45-42. Charlotte wouldn't receive much help after that, scoring just seven points over the last 9:16 of the frame.

    Portland, which missed six of its initial seven attempts, found a rhythm and surged ahead to a 60-48 thanks to an 18-3 rally that was finished off with a Mills' trey from the right side. The advantage balooned to 65-52 after the third, as Portland canned seven of its final nine shots.

    The Trail Blazers' lead bolstered to 20 points when Rudy Fernandez picked Augustin's pocket and took it the other way for a two-hand flush at the 4:20 mark.

    Behind Mills and Roy, the Trail Blazers bench emerged in the second half, energizing Portland to an insurmountable lead. After a 2-for-12 mark and 10 points in the first half, the Portland reserves poured in 28 points on 9-for-21 shooting in the closing periods.

    "We've got to be known as an energy group, coming off that bench and really bringing it to another level," Mills said. "We come up off the bench... Everything flows from defense. We come out and get them out of their rhythm."

    The Trail Blazers head out once again for a four-game road swing that begins in Florida to take on the Orlando Magic (40-23) on Monday.

    "It's tough, we have a lot of good teams," Aldridge said of the upcoming road trip. "But we can go out and win, we just have to play together, play good defense and just take it one game at a time."

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