for this game

Blazers continue Lakers' struggles at Rose Garden

Mar 1, 2008 - 7:49 AM PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- Even with their new-and-improved lineup and long winning streak, the Los Angeles Lakers can't seem to solve the riddle of the Rose Garden.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 22 points and Brandon Roy added 20 and a career-high 12 assists to send the Portland Trail Blazers to a 119-111 victory over the Lakers on Friday.

Los Angeles, which had lost just once since acquiring center Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies on February 1, was chasing its first 11-game winning streak since March 13-April 2, 2004.

"I'd rather have a 20-game win streak," said Lakers forward Lamar Odom, who notched his 27th double-double on Friday. "We are trying to win every game possible, especially with these teams playing so well in the Western Conference."

But the Lakers could not shake a feisty Portland team which extended Los Angeles' losing streak at the Rose Garden to five games.

"(The Blazers) play us really well here, it's a great environment, and there's a lot of energy," Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said. "They seem to feed off of it real well."

Bryant finished with 33 points for the Lakers, who have dropped 26 of their last 34 in Portland.

After Luke Walton hit a 3-pointer to give the Lakers their only lead of the fourth quarter at 90-88 with 10:44 remaining, the Blazers reeled off eight straight points to take a five-point lead.

"I think we got back to playing team basketball, and that's what we need every night," Aldridge said. "It was intense because we felt like we gave one away up there (Los Angeles on Tuesday), and I think we were a little more motivated tonight."

Odom started a quick 5-0 run to cut the lead to 96-95, but Aldridge scored Portland's next six points to keep the Blazers from losing the lead.

With the game tied at 107-107 at the 3:04 mark, Portland finally pulled away when the Los Angeles went cold. The Lakers missed 10 straight shots - despite grabbing five offensive rebounds - over a 2:52 stretch late in the fourth quarter until a layup from Bryant with 12 seconds left ended the drought.

"They made a lot of big shots," Bryant said. "They made a lot of 15-20 footers there when we were rotating just a step slow. We weren't able to get (baskets) when we needed them."

While the Lakers struggled, Roy - who returned from a two-game absence - hit two free throws on the front and back end of a 10-0 run to clinch the win for the Blazers.

"I think we matched their intensity tonight," Roy said. "I think lately we haven't been able to match the other team's intensity. That's why it looked like a physical game. But we have to play that way. That's how all the good teams are playing this time of year.

"It (the ankle) felt good. There was a play were I got it tied up (with Odom) when we had the jump ball, it felt a little sore. But besides that, I was able to finish the game and, hopefully, tomorrow it's not too sore, so I can help this team make a push down the stretch."

Jarrett Jack had 21 points and 10 assists and Travis Outlaw added 18 points for Portland, which has won two straight after three consecutive losses.

"It was a great competitive game," Jack said. "This one ranks up there with the rest of them (victories this season). Everybody was stepping up big tonight."

"I thought this was our most efficient game in a long time," said Blazers coach Nate McMillan, whose team recorded its season-high point total. "We went through some rough times lately and we were able to get this win vs. a team that is playing some great ball."

Odom had 17 points and 12 rebounds and Gasol poured in 15 points for the Lakers.

With Friday's effort, Odom has recorded 10 consecutive double-digit rebounding performances.

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