Aldridge, Blazers top Pelicans to clinch playoffs

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 6, 2014 at 11:47 pm •  Published: April 6, 2014
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The Pelicans, last in the Southwest Division and out of the playoff race, have lost five straight games.

Davis started the game despite back spasms that kept him out for long stretches of the past two games. He limited Aldridge to 6-of-16 shooting in the first half.

"He's just trying to do everything he can to help his team and tonight was no different," coach Monty Williams said. "That's why we love him."

Davis had 11 points in the first quarter, but the Pelicans went on a run with their All-Star on the bench in the second, going up 39-29 as reserve big men Al-Farouq Aminu and Alexis Ajinca combined for 10 points in a 14-4 run. Portland trailed 55-48 at the half.

The Blazers picked up the pace in the third, as Aldridge regained his shot and Lillard, Matthews and Batum each scored in transition. Portland led 77-67 just before the end of the third.

Several players scoffed at suggestions that the Blazers rest some starters with the playoffs in hand, and coach Terry Stotts indicated there were no plans to change focus.

"We're not prepping for the playoffs," he said. "We want to keep going in the right direction."

NOTES: Portland's last playoff appearance was in 2010-11, when the Blazers lost a first-round matchup to the Dallas Mavericks in six games. ... New Orleans G Eric Gordon missed his ninth straight game with knee tendinitis, and is not with the team after traveling to Los Angeles for a medical examination. . The Pelicans are 12-27 on the road this season. Their last win in Portland was in 2010.