for this game

Aldridge, Blake help Trail Blazers crush Clippers

Feb 23, 2009 - 3:10 AM PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- Steve Blake's historic first quarter locked up another win for the Portland Trail Blazers very early on Sunday.

The point guard tied an NBA record with 14 of his 17 assists in the opening period and LaMarcus Aldridge set a season high with 28 points as the Trail Blazers trounced the Los Angeles Clippers, 116-87.

Brandon Roy collected 20 points, eight rebounds and nine assists as Portland won its eighth straight home game in convincing fashion.

"That was amazing to watch," Roy said. "Even I kept looking up and thinking, how many assists does he have? Since he's been back, our tempo has been great."

Blake set a season high in helpers and fell one short of his career high of 18, which he set on February 14, 2007, against Minnesota.

"I don't get assists unless my teammates are running the floor hard, making shots. I just happened to be able to find them tonight," Blake said. "I have lots of confidence in my teammates, every single one of them can have a big game for us. When you have that as a point guard, you feel good out there."

He matched the mark for assists in a quarter set by John Lucas for San Antonio in the second quarter against Denver on April 15, 1984.

The Blazers raced out to a 38-16 lead as Blake assisted on all but four of his team's 18 field goals in the period. Portland led by as many as 32 and rested most its starters for the entire fourth quarter.

"It's a good way to finish a homestand in which we had good ball movement, good spacing and controlled the tempo," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "A lot of that has to do with the return of Steve Blake. I thought he's been good ever since he's been back. He sets the tone. It all starts with the point guard."

Blake had missed 13 of 14 games with a shoulder injury before returning Wednesday.

Eric Gordon scored 21 points and DeAndre Jordan had a double-double with 15 and 12 rebounds for the Clippers.

Portland dominated every facet of the game, holding a 56-38 rebounding advantage and assisting on 38 of its 48 field goals. The Blazers led 56-24 midway through the second quarter.

"This is the time where teams are looking at standings, trying to get into playoffs," Aldridge said of Portland's upcoming three-game road trip. "I think this is a real tough time for us right now."

A shorthanded Los Angeles unit never stood a chance in this one. The Clippers were without Zach Randolph, who was serving the first of a two-game suspension after punching Phoenix's Louis Amundson on Tuesday.

"We can play at that pace with them, but for the most part we need to slow it down," said Baron Davis, who scored 15 points for the Clippers before sitting out the fourth quarter nursing a sore toe. "We just weren't making enough shots. We're too small to get offensive rebounds. We just got dominated out there."

Al Thornton (foot), Chris Kaman (foot), and Marcus Camby (ear infection) were all also out of action as Los Angeles lost for the 11th time in 14 games.