Portland, OR, United States (4E Sports) – LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Portland Trail Blazers in blitzing the New Orleans Pelicans, 100-94 Sunday at Moda Center.
Nicolas Batum had 16 points and 12 rebounds, Wesley Matthews had 21 points and Damian Lillard added 20 for the win that earned the Blazers (50-28) a playoff spot.
Anthony Davis had 11 first quarter points for the Pelicans while Matthews shot 12 for the Blazers as the opening period ended at 25-all.
Al-Farouq Aminu and Alexis Ajinca combined for 10 points in a 14-4 run to give the Pelicans a 39-29 lead at 7:11 of the second.
Aldridge had eight points while Lillard had the seven for the rest of the quarter, but the Blazers could only cut their deficit to 55-48 at the half.
In the third, Aldridge regained his shot and Lillard, Matthews and Batum each scored in transition to give the Blazers a 77-65 just before quarter ended.
The Blazers led by 11 points three times in the fourth before the Pelicans exploded with a 9-1 run to get within 97-94 with 35.9 seconds left.
But Lillard scored on a driving layup and then made one of two free throws for the final score.
The Pelicans (32-45) were led by Anthony Morrow’s 17 and Davis’ 15 points.