for this game

Blazers' surge stifles Nets

Mar 14, 2009 - 6:06 AM PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- Brandon Roy's solution to a slow start was to simply wait it out.

Roy figured his shots had to start falling eventually -- and they did. He wound up with 31 points and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the New Jersey Nets 109-100 on Friday night.

"I know I struggled for the first two (quarters)," said Roy, who had seven points in the first half. "But I kept getting to the foul like so I was thinking I'll just keep being aggressive and the shots will fall."

Portland, among the league's best home teams at 28-6, trailed by as many as 11 points in the second half until Roy's reverse layup that closed the Blazers to 87-86 with 6:11 to go. Joel Przybilla gave Portland its first lead since early in the game with a pair of free throws to make it 88-87.

After wrestling for the advantage, Steve Blake put Portland in front 96-94 on a 3-pointer from the corner with 2:41 left. Travis Outlaw made a pair of free throws to extend it and the Blazers led the rest of the way.

Nicolas Batum hit a 3-pointer to make it 101-96 with 29 seconds left and seal it. The rookie from France had a career-high 20 points. LaMarcus Aldridge added 19 points and 10 rebounds for Portland.

Devin Harris scored 27 points for the New Jersey, which has lost five of seven. The Nets were coming off a 116-112 loss at Golden State that denied them a chance to move into playoff position.

"We have to stick with it," said Vince Carter, who had 19 points. "Guys are upset, (but) we can't let it linger."

The Blazers, among a group of teams tangled in the playoff race, had a statement-making victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, but then lost 93-89 to Dallas on Wednesday, snapping a 12-game winning streak at home.

Friday night's victory moved Portland into a tie with Utah atop the Northwest Division.

The Nets went up 26-20 after Harris' 3-pointer and extended the lead to 42-30 on Carter's jumper.

But the Blazers came back, outscoring New Jersey 15-7, to narrow it to 49-45. The Nets went into the half with a 51-47 lead.

Roy struggled with just one point in the first quarter and just seven points in the half. The two-time All-Star came in averaging nearly 23 points.

After New Jersey jumped out to a 60-49 lead in the second half, Roy hit a jumper for his first field goal of the game.

The Blazers again narrowed it, closing to within 68-65 on Batum's fast-break dunk. But Carter answered with a 3-pointer and the Nets stayed in front until Portland's late run.

"It's hard, we're in this to win this thing," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "It's not about consolation prizes, it's about trying to continue to fight through."

The Blazers were without rookie swingman Rudy Fernandez for the second straight game. Fernandez had a bruised chest and a hip pointer from a scary fall he took against the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night.

Fernandez on a fast break when was fouled by Trevor Ariza and crashed to the floor. He was taken from the floor on a stretcher with his neck in a brace, and was hospitalized overnight.

Batum left the game midway through the first quarter and iced his right shoulder on the bench. He later returned.

Batum hurt his shoulder in the Blazers' loss to Dallas, but MRIs were negative.

"What a great job Nicolas gave us. He had a really tough assignment in guarding Vince Carter, but I thought he really made Carter work," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "Offensively we needed what he gave us since we didn't have Rudy and we were playing short."