Aldridge has 31, Portland beats Detroit 112-101.

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 17, 2013 at 12:56 am •  Published: March 17, 2013
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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Portland Trail Blazers aren't giving up yet.

The Blazers are still in a crowded fight for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Utah Jazz are a half-game back of the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth and final spot, while Portland and Dallas are three games out.

Taking advantage of Saturday night's visit by the struggling Pistons, the Blazers got 31 points and 12 rebounds from LaMarcus Aldridge to hand Detroit its eighth straight loss with a 112-101 victory.

But the Blazers are now staring at a five-game road trip, which kicks off Monday in Philadelphia.

"This is a make-or-break road trip for us," Aldridge said. "I keep saying, we're right there. If we play good on this trip than anything is possible."

The Blazers won two of a three-game homestand.

Rodney Stuckey had a season-high 32 points for the Pistons, who have yet to win a game in March. They've lost 11 of their last 12.

After trailing by as many as 11 points in the first half, the Blazers took a 90-81 lead on Nicolas Batum's 3-pointer with 8:33 remaining in the game. Portland extended the lead to 99-87 on J.J. Hickson's dunk.

The Pistons scored 10 in a row to close within 99-97 on Will Bynum's running jumper with 2:54 left, but Batum answered with another 3-pointer. After Stuckey made a layup, Aldridge's hook shot ended Detroit's threat and put the Blazers in front 104-99 with 1:45 left.

"We did not come up with plays at the end of the game," Pistons forward Kyle Singler said. "To their credit, Portland played well. They are a tough team to beat at home and when Aldridge is playing like he did tonight, they're tough."

The Blazers (31-34) have won nine of their last 12 at the Rose Garden and were coming off a 105-90 victory at home over the Knicks on Thursday night.

"Hopefully it's a little momentum for us going out on the road," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said.

Detroit (23-45) was coming off a 105-97 loss at Golden State on Wednesday. The Pistons were without guard Brandon Knight for the second straight game because of a sprained left ankle. Knight is averaging 13.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists.

Detroit went ahead 21-18 on Jose Calderon's 3-pointer late in the first quarter, as Portland sat Aldridge because of two early fouls. The Pistons extended the lead to 28-20 on Jonas Jerebko's layup.



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