Evans (22 points, 26 rebounds) leads Nets

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 28, 2013 at 1:16 am •  Published: March 28, 2013
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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Reggie Evans' Brooklyn teammates egged him on, making sure he knew just how many points and rebounds he had against the Trail Blazers.

In the end, Evans finished with a career-high 26 rebounds and matched his career best with 22 points, and Brooklyn beat Portland 111-93 on Wednesday night. Evans is the first NBA player to reach both those numbers in a game this season.

And to top it off, he was battling an infection that kept his right eye half-shut throughout the game.

"I just wanted to win, that's it," Evans said. "But after a while your teammates get to tell you how many rebounds you got. Typical of my teammates: 'Oh, you got this many. You got this many. You got this many.' I just take whatever I can do."

Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo called Evans' performance "absurd."

It was Brooklyn's 20th road win of the season, matching a franchise best. Brook Lopez added 28 points for the Nets, who built a big lead early and stretched it to as many as 30 points.

LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 24 points despite rolling his right ankle in the first half and briefly leaving the game.

Most of the Nets starters had retreated to the bench before Portland pulled within 101-87 on Luke Babbitt's 3-pointer with six minutes remaining. The starters returned, and Portland couldn't get closer.

It was a costly loss for the Blazers, who are 33-38 and still fighting for a playoff spot in the Western Conference with just 11 games remaining. Portland dropped 3 ½ games back of the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth and final playoff spot.

The Nets (42-29) have already clinched their first playoff appearance since 2007, and are now jockeying for home-court advantage. They're 4-1 on their current eight-game road trip.

Brooklyn was without Joe Johnson for the second straight game because of right quad contusion he sustained in a loss at the Clippers on Saturday. There was talk Johnson — who is averaging 16.4 points — might return to face the Blazers but the Nets did not want to push him with the playoffs looming.

It was all Brooklyn from the start. The Nets went up 24-8 after Evans' basket with 4:41 left in the first quarter. Evans had collected nine points and 11 rebounds by the end of the period.