Blazers too hot for Lakers
PORTLAND, Ore. — The Rose Garden has become a house of misery for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The defending NBA champions dropped their ninth straight in Portland, losing, 107-98, to the Trail Blazers last night. Brandon Roy scored 32 points for the Blazers, who own the NBA's longest home winning streak against the Lakers.
"I wish I knew exactly what it was," Roy said. "Then we could keep it going. We just play them with a lot of energy, a lot of effort."
Kobe Bryant had 32 points and eight rebounds for the Lakers, who trailed by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter but cut it to single digits in the final minutes.
Bryant made just 14 of 37 field-goal attempts, while Roy made nine of 11. Roy also made 13 of 14 free throws.
"They just play us really well here," Bryant said. "They're extremely well coached and play with a lot of energy here. They're very comfortable shooting in this arena, particularly against us."
The victory is the latest display of Portland's surprising resiliency despite a rash of injuries. The team has lost both of its big men — Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla — to knee injuries for the rest of the season, but the Blazers have won seven of their last 10.
The Lakers were without Pau Gasol, who missed his third straight game because of a sore left hamstring. Coach Phil Jackson has said he doesn't expect Gasol back until tomorrow's home game against Milwaukee, at the earliest.
The Blazers are also playing without starting forward Nicolas Batum, who needed shoulder surgery just before the start of the season. Then forward Travis Outlaw broke his left foot, and forward Rudy Fernandez had to have a surgical procedure for a back injury that was causing him leg pain.
Fernandez is expected to return within the next two weeks, while guard Steve Blake, recently hospitalized for pneumonia, could return by tomorrow when the Blazers host the Cleveland Cavaliers.
WIZARDS 104, MAGIC 97
Antawn Jamison had 28 points and 11 rebounds, and host Washington overcame a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat Orlando in the team's first game at the Verizon Center since Gilbert Arenas' suspension.
NUGGETS 99, CAVALIERS 97
Carmelo Anthony's nagging knee injury kept him out of his fourth straight game, but Kenyon Martin filled in nicely with 19 points and 12 rebounds as host Denver edged Cleveland.
RAPTORS 108, 76ERS 106
Chris Bosh made the go-ahead three-point play with 8.4 seconds left, and had 29 points and nine rebounds to lead visiting Toronto over Philadelphia.
TIMBERWOLVES 116, PACERS 109
Al Jefferson had 25 points and 12 rebounds, and Kevin Love had 18 points and 13 rebounds as host Minnesota snapped a five-game losing streak.
MAVERICKS 112, SPURS 103
Dirk Nowitzki scored 26 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter, to help Dallas rally from a 10-point, third-quarter deficit and beat San Antonio.
BUCKS 96, BULLS 93
Andrew Bogut had 27 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots as host Milwaukee beat Chicago after Luol Deng missed an open 27-footer as time expired.
HORNETS 103, NETS 99
Chris Paul hit a driving scoop as he was fouled with 7.6 seconds left, and made the free throw as host New Orleans, nearly blew a 15-point lead before holding off New Jersey.
HAWKS 93, CELTICS 85
Jamal Crawford scored 18 points, including two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, helping host Atlanta beat Boston for the second time this season.
GRIZZLIES 91, JAZZ 89
Zach Randolph had 29 points and 15 rebounds, O.J. Mayo hit a 21-foot step back jumper with 5.2 seconds left, and host Memphis ended an 11-game losing streak to Utah.
HEAT 109, SUNS 105
Dwyane Wade had 33 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, and Jermaine O'Neal's basket gave Miami the lead for good, 105-104, with 29.7 seconds left to beat Phoenix.
WARRIORS 108, KINGS 101
Monta Ellis had 39 points and six assists, and host Golden State came back from an 18-point deficit in the second half to beat Sacramento.
Four Wizards fined: Washington players Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee, Randy Foye and Nick Young have been fined $10,000 apiece for making light of Gilbert Arenas' antics before Tuesday's game at Philadelphia. The four players were among a group that surrounded Arenas when he pointed his index fingers at teammates as if he were firing a pair of guns during a pregame huddle. A photo shows the players smiling or laughing.