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Blazers pound Cavs

PORTLAND — After a demoralizing loss in Phoenix, it took the Portland Trail Blazers some time to get going at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The first half Sunday night was a yawner, but the Blazers picked up the pace in the second and pulled away for a 98-78 victory. LaMarcus Aldridge had 28 points and eight rebounds.

"It wasn't sharp, and when you come off a bad game like we played in Phoenix, you've got to be sharp," Aldridge said.

The Blazers are 6-2, with their two losses coming on the road to the Clippers and the Suns. The 102-77 defeat at Phoenix on Friday came after a big win over the Los Angeles Lakers the night before.

Portland coach Nate McMillan gave his team Saturday off, and didn't hold shootaround until later than usual on Sunday. The result? McMillan said the Blazers seemed "in a daze."

"I knew we needed to get that blood circulating, but it took us a half to get going," McMillan said.

Wesley Matthews added 24 points for the Blazers, who led by as many as 24 in the second half.

Rookie guard Kyrie Irving, the top pick in last June's NBA draft, had a season-best 21 points — 11 in the third quarter. Antawn Jamison, Cleveland's top scorer going into the game, made a 3-pointer for his only basket but grabbed 11 rebounds.

Cleveland (4-4) was coming off a 98-87 victory at Minnesota on Friday.

The Cavaliers were only allowing an average of six fast-break points per game, but Portland had 22 even though the overall pace of the game — especially the first half — seemed sluggish.

The Cavs also had a season-high 24 turnovers, which led to 28 Blazers points. For the game, Cleveland shot 36.7 percent.

Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said his team wasn't sharp, either.

"I didn't think that we had the focus that we needed mentally, for whatever reason, especially on the offensive end," Scott said. "I've never seen us that flip with the ball, kind of throwing it everywhere like a hot potato."


At Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant had 21 points and 10 rebounds, reserve James Harden scored 20 and the Oklahoma City Thunder became the first NBA team to win three games on consecutive nights this season by beating the San Antonio Spurs.

Durant needed only three more assists to record his first career triple-double but instead sat out the entire fourth quarter with the rest of Oklahoma City's starters. The Thunder were able to coast to the finish for the second time in their back-to-back-to-back set after outscoring the Spurs 37-21 in the third.

Gary Neal scored 18 to lead the Spurs, who played without point guard Tony Parker after he came out of the game and walked to locker room midway through the third quarter. He returned to the bench a few minutes later, and a team spokesman said Parker was fine and could have played.


At Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant scored 26 points, Andrew Bynum had 15 points and 15 rebounds, and Los Angeles beat Memphis for its sixth consecutive home victory.

Matt Barnes scored 15 points and Pau Gasol had 13 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers, who have won six of eight after an 0-2 start despite playing the NBA's busiest early-season schedule, matching Oklahoma City with 10 games in the first 15 days.

Although they haven't lost at Staples Center since their season opener on Christmas, the Lakers committed a season-high 27 turnovers and never pulled away from the injury-depleted Grizzlies. Memphis had beaten Los Angeles in two of the last three meetings, including a 19-point blowout in the Grizzlies' last trip to Staples.

Rudy Gay scored 19 points to lead five players in double figures for Memphis, which wrapped up a three-game road trip with an unimpressive fourth quarter. The Grizzlies have lost two straight after winning their first two games following Zach Randolph's serious knee injury.


At Sacramento, Calif., Jason Richardson scored a season-high 22 points, Glen Davis added a season-best 20 and Orlando beat Sacramento despite playing much of the game without foul-plagued Dwight Howard.

The All-Star center had five points and four rebounds in 20 minutes and spent most of the first three quarters in foul trouble. He didn't get his first rebound until 4 minutes into the fourth and was scoreless before converting a three-point play with 6:35 remaining, putting the Magic ahead 87-85.

Tyreke Evans had a season-high 28 points and eight assists for the Kings. DeMarcus Cousins, also hampered by fouls, had 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Ryan Anderson had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Orlando. Hedo Turkoglu banked in a 3-pointer with the shot clock running down to give the Magic a 93-89 lead with just less than 3 minutes remaining.


At Washington, Kevin Love had 20 points and 16 rebounds and Ricky Rubio had 13 points and a career-high 14 assists to lead Minnesota past winless Washington.

Rubio also grabbed six rebounds and controlled the game during much of his 30 minutes off the bench. He entered with 1:30 remaining in the first quarter and quickly hit a 22-foot jumper to start a 17-2 run that gave Minnesota the lead for good.

Six players scored in double figures for the Timberwolves, who opened their first set of three games in three days during the lockout-shortened season. They are playing all three without forward Michael Beasley, who sprained his right foot during Friday night's loss to Cleveland.

Nick Young and Trevor Booker scored 14 points apiece to lead the Wizards, who dropped to 0-8 to extend their franchise-worst start to a season. Washington has already lost four games by 18 or more points.

SUNS 109, BUCKS 93

At Phoenix, Steve Nash had 17 assists and 10 points in 27 minutes as Phoenix routed the weary Milwaukee Bucks.

The Suns beat the Bucks in Phoenix for the 24th straight time, the NBA's second-longest active streak behind San Antonio's 27 wins in a row at home over Golden State.

Phoenix shot 58 percent, led by Marcin Gortat, who scored 18 points on 9-of-10 shooting. Channing Frye went 6 of 7 and made all four 3-point tries to finish with 16 points. Seven players, including all five starters, reached double figures for the Suns.

Tobias Harris scored 15 for the Bucks at the end of an 0-5 road trip. Milwaukee last won in Phoenix on Feb. 21, 1987.