for this game

Blazers easily cut down the Nets

Jan 15, 2008 - 5:54 AM By Carl Dispoto PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) - The Portland Trail Blazers wasted little time avenging one of their few home losses.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 20 points and Brandon Roy had 10 of his 16 in a dominant first quarter as the Trail Blazers rolled to a 99-73 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Monday.

The Nets are one of only three visiting teams to post a win at the Rose Garden this season - a 106-101 triumph on November 21. But the Blazers controlled the rematch from the opening minutes and bounced back from Sunday's double-overtime loss at Toronto with their 18th victory in 20 games.

"We definitely wanted to come back and redeem ourselves against them, because we felt that we let one slip away when they came to our building," Roy said. "We lost the double-overtime game (Sunday) and we were really upset about it, so to come back tonight, it was a huge win for us."

Aldridge and Roy overwhelmed the Nets in the first quarter, combining for 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting as the Blazers jumped out to a 25-12 lead en route to their most lopsided victory of the season.

"We came out a little bit more aggressive going to the basket," Aldridge said. "We were more in charge and once we got rolling, it just kept going."

"We didn't want to let the come out and set the tone and we did a good job of getting ourselves the lead and maintaining it," Roy said.

Aldridge finished 9-of-18 from the floor and Roy was 7-of-10 for Portland, which shot 53 percent (37-of-70) overall while New Jersey endured one of its most dismal offensive performances of the season.

The Nets made just 34 percent (26-of-77) of their shots as the star trio of Vince Carter, Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson managed only 29 points on 7-of-33 from the floor.

"We talked about establishing ourselves on both ends of the floor right from the start," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "Defensively we did a good job of keeping them in front of us and not allowing them to get to the rim."

New Jersey posted its fourth-lowest score of the season and was held under 80 points for the second consecutive game. It was the Nets' fourth-worst shooting performance of the season.

"I am going to take responsibility because obviously, we weren't prepared," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "This was a poor performance on everybody's part."

Malik Allen scored 17 points and Carter and Kidd had 10 apiece for New Jersey, which has lost consecutive games after winning eight of their previous 10. Jefferson matched his season low with nine points.

"Our goal is always to come out and play good basketball from beginning to end," Carter said. "We expect to play better basketball, it just doesn't happen all the time. We've played good basketball against some of the best teams in the league, we just have to be more consistent."

Jarrett Jack added 15 points off the bench and Joel Przybilla had nine points and 12 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who have won six of their last eight road games after dropping their first nine this season.

Portland never trailed after Aldridge made the first two baskets of the game and the Blazers pulled away with a 13-2 run midway through the opening quarter. Roy scored eight points during the spurt, making a runner and a pair of 3-pointers over the sluggish Nets' defense.

Coming off a nine-point fourth quarter in Friday's loss to Boston, the Nets made only 4-of-19 shots in the opening quarter with Allen, Josh Boone and rookie Sean Williams making the only baskets. Carter only attempted one shot in the period while Jefferson and Kidd each missed four attempts.

New Jersey climbed within 31-24 midway through the second quarter, but the Blazers responded with a 12-2 run. Aldridge had six points in the stretch and James Jones buried a pair of 3-pointers, including one from the right wing to give Portland a 43-26 advantage with 3:12 to go.

New Jersey did not get closer than 12 thereafter and trailed by as many as 28 twice in the final period.

Jefferson and Carter combined to shoot 0-of-9 from the floor in the first half. Each finally made a basket early in the third quarter, but Carter finished 2-of-9 from the floor and Jefferson was 2-of-11 while Kidd made just 3-of-13 shots.

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