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Aldridge helps Trail Blazers crush slumping Bobcats

Mar 2, 2007 - 8:08 AM PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- Rookie LaMarcus Aldridge gave the Portland Trail Blazers a glimpse into the future.

Aldridge scored a season-high 30 points to lead six players in double figures as the Trail Blazers crusied to a 127-90 triumph over the slumping Charlotte Bobcats.

Taken second overall in June's draft, Aldridge made 12-of-19 shots and made all six of his free throws. He also had six rebounds and two blocks in his first start since December 10.

"I got here early and got up some extra shots," Aldridge said. "I felt good early. Coach (Nate McMillan) told me to just go out there and have fun. I started hitting a couple so then the guys kept coming to me."

"LaMarcus is just a hard guy to match up against," said Blazers guard Brandon Roy, who was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month on Thursday. "He can run, he rebounds well. He can shoot the jumper, plays defense. Right now this time of year is when we get more and more experience and hopefully by next year he will be even better."

Zach Randolph and Martell Webster scored 20 points apiece and Roy chipped in 14, nine assists and eight rebounds for Portland, which improved to 6-1 all-time against Charlotte.

With a 31-16 lead in hand after the first quarter, the Trail Blazers continued to create more distance, as Aldridge scored seven straight points during a 9-2 run, making it 55-32 with 2:43 left. Webster scored 15 points in the quarter.

"Everybody out there was ready," Aldridge said. "We just wanted to feed off each other and we were able to. Martell started stroking it and we didn't back off at all. We wanted to keep the throttle down."

"He (Webster) got it going in the second quarter and that proved to be the quarter that really put them away," Randolph said.

Aldridge netted 17 third-quarter points in helping Portland outscore Charlotte, 43-26, in the period. The Blazers shot 68 percent (17-of-25) in the quarter.

"It was just one of those nights where everything was going well for me and I was just trying to enjoy the moment," Aldridge said. "I wanted to come out aggressive and was trying to be an offensive threat. Just trying to be a force down low. I'd like to be able to do this every night but I know that this is a process. Not every night is going to be like this."

Matt Carroll scored 20 points and Gerald Wallace added 13 for the Bobcats, who have dropped four in a row since a four-game winning streak.

"It seemed like when we wanted to take away one of their post players away, they would hit the 3-pointer," Carroll said. "When we tried to take away the three's, it was the post guys doing the work. What ever we tried to take away, they had a counter for it."

Charlotte was without rising star Emeka Okafor for the third straight contest with an injured left calf.

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