Blazers beat Nets 97-87 without Aldridge, Batum
PORTLAND — Damian Lillard had 28 points and 10 assists, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Brooklyn Nets 97-87 on Saturday night despite missing LaMarcus Aldridge.
With its All-Star power forward out with an upper respiratory illness, Portland took an early lead and maintained it against the road-weary Nets, who lost all three games on their western trip.
Reserve center Chris Kaman scored 12 for Portland, which was also missing Nicolas Batum for a third straight game because of a bruised knee. The Blazers have won four straight.
Little-used Allen Crabbe and Meyers Leonard joined Robin Lopez in the Blazers’ front court.
Brook Lopez led Brooklyn with 21 points, matching up against twin brother Robin for the first time in two years. Joe Johnson added 20 points and Deron Williams had 19 for the Nets, who were coming off losses to Phoenix and Golden State.
The Blazers went on an 11-2 run at the end of the first quarter to take a 24-15 lead. Williams scored Brooklyn’s first 10 points of the second, but the Nets failed to close the gap and Portland took a 50-39 lead into the half.
Lillard and Lopez each scored eight points in the third for Portland, with Lillard giving Portland a 66-53 lead with a 3-pointer midway through the quarter.
Nets: Nets coach Lionel Hollins was a guard on the Trail Blazers’ 1976-77 NBA championship team and his No. 14 jersey is retired in the Moda Center rafters. . Brooklyn was 1 for 19 from 3-point range but made 16 of 17 free throw attempts.
Trail Blazers: Aldridge is the third Blazers player, after Steve Blake and Leonard, to miss a game this season due to illness. . Robin Lopez had 10 points and seven rebounds. He is 5-3 in NBA games against Brook. . Leonard had a career-high 12 rebounds.
Nets: Host Miami on Monday.
Trail Blazers: Host New Orleans on Tuesday.