for this game

Blazers use late rally to surge past Nets

Nov 23, 2006 - 5:45 AM PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- Zach Randolph and the Portland Trail Blazers got hot at the right time.

Randolph scored 25 points and the Trail Blazers made nine straight shots in the fourth quarter as they rallied for a 100-97 victory over the New Jersey Nets, who have lost three in a row.

Jarrett Jack scored 17 points for Portland (6-7), which had lost five of its last six games. But it overcame 35 points from Vince Carter and swept the season series from New Jersey for the first time since the 2003-04 season.

"We've been able to fight back when adversity strikes," Jack said. "Tonight was another night like that. We got down again, but no matter what the score was, we were going to keep fighting. Zach came out and played like the type of player he is in the second half."

The Trail Blazers embarrassed the Nets, 86-68, four days ago in New Jersey. The Nets came out looking to avenge that loss, racing to a 22-8 lead in the first seven-plus minutes.

They still held an 88-82 advantage with 4:48 to play on a dunk by Carter before succumbing to a stunning stretch by the Trail Blazers.

"If you want to be one of the elite teams, you have to be able to finish," Carter said.

During its hot streak, Portland put together a 12-2 surge. Jack tied it, 90-90, with two free throws with 3:18 left and Randolph gave the Blazers their first lead with a bucket 27 seconds later.

"It's all execution," Randolph said. "Jarrett has the ball and he has been putting the ball in the right guys' hands at the right time. We had our poise and that's what we are trying to be all about."

"We tried to come out, execute as much as possible and get the ball to the right guys," Jack said. "Zach was a good person to get the ball to tonight."

A layup by Juan Dixon and a jumper by Jack sandwiched a driving dunk by Carter and gave Portland a 96-92 advantage with 1:23 to go.

"It wasn't all just Zach Randolph," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "It was a combination of high pick-and-rolls, kick-outs, and just a bunch of other little things that we have to be able to control. It's frustrating because the effort is there."

"They were making baskets and we weren't putting up a fight," Nets guard Jason Kidd said.

Richard Jefferson halved the deficit with a basket with 1:03 to play but was called for an offensive foul 25 seconds later.

Randolph made four free throws around a three-point play by Carter, and the Blazers survived potential tying 3-pointers by Carter and Jefferson in the waning seconds.

"We are finding different ways to lose," Jefferson said.

Travis Outlaw scored 13 points and rookie LaMarcus Aldridge added 10 and eight rebounds for Portland, which shot 47 percent (37-of-78) and committed just six turnovers.

"That's just a matter of execution," Jack said. "We kinda kicked ourselves in the San Antonio game (on Monday) for not scoring for like six minutes."

Nenad Krstic scored 18 points, Jefferson added 16 and Kidd handed out 14 assists for the Nets, who shot 54 percent (41-of-76) but saw their defense disappear down the stretch.

"We have to trust our defense and be held accountable for getting stops," Frank said.

"The fourth quarter has been horrendous for us," Kidd said. "We can't get any stops at all and you are not going to win any games when you can't play fourth-quarter defense. We've always taken pride in being a defensive-oriented team."

Portland did not win its sixth game last season until December 9.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!