Aldridge powers Blazers past Raptors 92-74
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Injuries, an ejection and a dubious record.
The Portland Trail Blazers' 92-74 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night had a little bit of everything.
Both sides were beset by injuries, with Portland missing starters Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum, and Toronto losing starters Andrea Bargnani and Kyle Lowry during the game.
Then Toronto's Amir Johnson punctuated his ejection from the game by throwing his mouthpiece at the official who tossed him.
And finally, the Blazers went 0 for 20 from 3-point range, a new NBA record for futility.
"I don't want to break records like that," said Portland star LaMarcus Aldridge, who had 30 points and 12 rebounds.
J.J. Hickson added 16 points and 11 boards for the Blazers, who led by as many as 18 points in the second half. DeMar DeRozan had 20 points for the Raptors, who have dropped eight straight games against Portland.
But the game was more about who didn't play — or had to leave.
Batum was shelved because of back pain that hampered him in Portland's 99-80 home loss to Sacramento on Saturday, while Matthews was out because he strained his left hip in the fourth quarter against the Kings. Matthews tried to drive to the basket during warmups and limped off to the locker room, wincing.
Matthews missed a game for the first time in his four-year NBA career. He had played in 250 straight games, second-most among active players behind Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook.
To replace Matthews and Batum, the Blazers started Sasha Pavlovic and rookie Victor Claver.
"It felt great to know we could be down a couple of players and still get the win," Hickson said. "We knew we were going to have to play extra hard because we were short-handed, but guys stepped up and we got the win."
The Raptors were hurt late in the first quarter when Bargnani went to the locker room after falling awkwardly on a dunk. The Raptors said later that X-rays on his elbow were negative, but he did not return.
"He landed on his elbow and lost feeling in his hand," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "We'll have to wait and see tomorrow how it is."
Toronto already was without Linas Kleiza, who has a sore right knee from Sunday night's 102-83 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Blazers pulled ahead 30-24 in the second quarter on Pavlovic's running hook, but the Raptors battled back and tied it at 38 on Ed Davis' putback.
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