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Trail Blazers snap eight-game drought against Nuggets

Feb 1, 2007 - 7:35 AM PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- Zach Randolph and rookie Brandon Roy made the most of Allen Iverson's absence.

Randolph scored 26 points and grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds and Roy added 25 points as the Portland Trail Blazers posted a 100-91 triumph over the Denver Nuggets in the opener of a home-and-home series.

Portland snapped an eight-game losing streak against Denver, which lost its fourth consecutive game and played without four-time scoring champ Iverson, who did not make the trip because of a sprained right ankle.

"They are a different team without Allen," Roy said. "With Iverson, they are a little more up and down. They take some quicker shots. Tonight, they were a little slower and made sure they got the ball in Carmelo (Anthony's) hands. That gave us a chance to get into our defensive positions tonight."

"It was a good win," Randolph said. "Coach told us that we haven't beaten them in the last eight meetings or so. We wanted to come out aggressive and play the whole game. That's what got us the victory."

Portland gave itself a little breathing room in a tightly fought game by opening the fourth quarter with a 13-6 run to take a a 79-72 lead with 6:05 remaining.

Roy opened the burst with a short jumper and added a layup, Martell Webster hit a 3-pointer and Randolph was credited with a basket after Marcus Camby was called for goaltending.

Anthony made two jumpers and a pair of free throws and Steve Blake added a layup to help bring the Nuggets within 84-80 with 3:49 remaining.

After rookie LaMarcus Aldridge hit a layup for the Trail Blazers and Camby scored for Denver, Roy converted a layup and Randolph buried a 20-foot jumper as Portland rebuilt a 90-82 lead with 2:27 left.

"I wanted to be aggressive," Roy said. "I was able to get in some cracks on the pick-and-roll and see some guys and get some assists. I think when you pass the ball, it kinda opens the game for you so then they stop helping as much and I was able to get to the rim. Coach told me to keep attacking so that's what I did."

"They were making shots tonight," Anthony said. "I think we played pretty decent defense. Brandon Roy had some good plays down the stretch. He hit some big shots in the paint."

The Nuggets pulled within 91-88 with 44 seconds left on Camby's layup, but Jarrett Jack sank a 3-point dagger with 33 seconds to play.

"I kept telling Brandon when he was running the pick-and-roll that if he needs me, I'm in the corner and I'm ready to go and will knock it down for him," Jack said. "So when he made a play at the end and found me and I was able to make it, it felt good."

"It was the dagger," Randolph said. "Jarrett's big shot is what dropped their heads. It was a big shot and a great look by Brandon."

Randolph made 11-of-23 shots, Jack scored 14 points and Aldridge and Ime Udoka added 11 each for Portland, which had a 40-31 edge off the glass.

The league's top scorer, Anthony had 33 points, Camby added 17 and Nene 14 for the Nuggets, who fell to 10-9 on the road.

"Oh yeah, we missed (Iverson), but we still had a chance to win the game," Anthony said. "We still had the guys out there who know how to play. You can't take nothing away from the Trail Blazers. They hit some big shots down the stretch."

"The season goes up and down sometimes," Camby said. "We had won five in a row before losing these four. That's just the nature of the season. Hopefully come Friday, we can start another winning streak."








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    PORTLAND 100 FINAL

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