for this game

Aldridge hits game-winner as Blazers beat Bucks

Mar 8, 2008 - 5:28 AM By David Cotey PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- The Portland Trail Blazers will need more road efforts like this one if they want to remain in the loaded Western Conference playoff hunt.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 29 points, including the game-winning jumper with two seconds left in the fourth quarter, as the Trail Blazers escaped with a 103-101 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night.

It was just the Blazers' fourth road win in 14 games and just the second in nine tries away from the Rose Garden, where they own an impressive 22-9 mark.

"Just to get a win is good, but to get one on the road is even better," Aldridge said. "We had to lock down and play defense and we did that in the third and fourth quarter to get the win."

Milwaukee's Charlie Bell scored seven of his 15 points during an 11-4 surge to start in the fourth quarter for an 89-81 advantage. But Portland answered with a 14-2 run after which it took a 92-91 lead on Aldridge's jumper with 3:46 left.

With the Bucks trailing, 97-91, with less than two minutes remaining, Michael Redd poured in 10 of the game's next 14 points - including the first of two free throws to lock things up at 101-101 with 20 ticks remaining.

"We couldn't get anything done, so I was just aggressive and attacking the rim, just trying to do whatever I could to help the team," Redd said.

However, All-Star Brandon Roy, who collected 20 points and 10 assists, found Aldridge wide open on the baseline for the go-ahead basket as the Blazers opened their five-game Eastern trip on a positive note.

"Coach (Nate McMillan) said be ready because Brandon was going to go to the basket," Aldridge said. "I knew my man was going to help on him, and I was ready to shoot it. I was trying to be more aggressive because I felt we needed me to be like that."

"We've got a lot of guys that can make big shots in the fourth quarter," Roy said. "They tried to key on me getting into the lane, and LaMarcus was just ready for his opportunity. He made shot after shot tonight in the fourth quarter. He was big for us. I couldn't have found a better guy to get it to. He was hitting all night."

Steve Blake had 21 points for Portland (32-30), which completed a season-series sweep of the Bucks and remained 6 1/2 games behind Golden State (38-23) for the final playoff spot in the West.

"We need to quit looking so far ahead and just focus on one game at a time," McMillan said. "We can't jump ahead and focus on anything else."

Redd netted 25 points to lead five others in double figures for the Bucks, who lost for the fourth time in five games.

"LaMarcus Aldridge made some huge plays," Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "Roy made a nice play at the end of the ballgame. Beyond that, we lost the ballgame. It's frustrating."

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