Blazers beat Kings; end skid at five
PORTLAND — The Portland Trail Blazers' opponent was the one feeling frustrated in the fourth quarter for a change.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 28 points and 12 rebounds, and the Blazers snapped a five-game losing streak with an 87-84 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.
Brandon Roy made the go-ahead basket and finished with 13 points and eight assists. Steve Blake scored all his 13 points in the second half for the Blazers, who are 5-1 at the Rose Garden.
"Hopefully we can do this the rest of the season," Blake said. "We needed to make something happen tonight and we did it."
Kevin Martin had 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Kings. Ron Artest added 17 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in his return from a one-game absence.
The Kings led 84-83 with 25 seconds left, but Roy drove for a layup with 19 seconds remaining to give Portland the lead. Francisco Garcia was called for charging on the other end.
Brad Miller tied up Jarrett Jack for a jump ball, but Travis Outlaw stole the tap, was fouled and made two free throws. Artest missed a 35-footer at the buzzer that could have tied it.
"We had our chances," said Sacramento coach Reggie Theus, whose team is 0-7 on the road. "We had the ball taken from us down the stretch. We needed defensive stops and we couldn't get them."
Portland had allowed 30 points or more in the fourth quarters of each of its last five games, and had lost each one.
Sacramento led for most of the first three quarters, but Portland forced seven fourth-quarter turnovers and outscored the Kings 27-19.
"In the last few games, when it came down to the fourth quarter, we gave up a lot of points," Aldridge said. "Tonight our defense was better and we kept scoring."
Garcia had 17 points and Beno Udrih had 11 points, six assists and four rebounds for the Kings.
Sacramento led by 10 early in the first quarter but by only one by halftime. The Kings took a 65-62 lead into the fourth quarter.
Artest missed Wednesday's loss to Phoenix to be with his daughter, who was undergoing a medical procedure, and his presence made a big difference for the Kings on both ends of the floor.
On the defensive end, Artest held reigning Rookie of the Year Roy to 6-of-15 shooting. Artest was a one-man team during a four-minute stretch of the fourth, scoring, diving for balls, setting screens and grabbing rebounds to preserve his team's 74-70 lead.
But he drove and kicked out to Miller for a wide-open 3 that missed badly, and had another drive to the basket cut short when Miller was whistled for 3 seconds.
Without help, the Kings weren't bound to keep their lead long.
Blake hit back-to-back 3s and Roy scored his first points of the half with 4 minutes remaining. Jack made two free throws and the Blazers had an 11-0 run and a 81-74 lead.