Trans. Apr 23 11:03 ET (Apr 23 11:03 ET ) Portland Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge had never scored 40 or more points in 298 career road games (including playoffs) prior to his 46-point effort in the Blazers' 122-20 Game 1 victory over the Rockets in their first-round series. Now, the three-time NBA All-Star has done it in consecutive games — thanks to a 43-point night in Portland's 112-105 win in Game 2.
Aldridge also joined some pretty elite company with the effort that helped the Blazers go up 2-0 on the No. 4 seed out West.
LaMarcus Aldridge is first player with 80+ points and 15+ rebounds in team's first 2 playoff games since Michael Jordan (April 25-27, 1997). — Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) April 24, 2014
LaMarcus Aldridge's 89 points in 1st 2 playoff games are fewer than only Michael Jordan (1986, 1988) and Jerry West (1965) in last 50 years. — Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) April 24, 2014
It should also be noted that Aldridge joined Kobe Bryant and LeBron James as the only active players to score 40 or more in consecutive playoff games. He also became just the third player in league history (after Jordan and Tracy McGrady) to put up 40-plus in Games 1 and 2 on the road.
Feeling Blue (Jackets)
Meanwhile in the Stanley Cup playoffs, Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury had no luck away from home against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Fleury left the net late in regulation in a move that led to the game-tying goal. Then, in overtime, he allowed the game-winner as Columbus won 4-3 to even the series at two games apiece.
Some people never learn
Finally in baseball, New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected for having a foreign substance (which he later admitted was pine tar) on his neck in a game against the Boston Red Sox. This after Pineda was accused of using the substance less than two weeks ago — against the same team!
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The Scoop:Bryant missed an appearance to thank fans due to a migraine and was in Paris while the rest of his team was conducting exit interviews, so Bryant's frustration is becoming more apparent. There is no word on exactly who Kobe's people are, but said people acknowledged the 35-year-old is "frustrated" with the Lakers and the prospect of rebuilding for two more seasons. The bad news for Bryant is that he's committed to the Lakers for two more seasons, but there is a silver lining as the Lakers will have a lottery pick and plenty of cap space to work with this offseason.
The Scoop:Bryant received encouraging news from doctors in Germany who previously performed platelet-rich plasma treatment on his knees, and he's expected to be ready for the start of next season. He has been blunt about his desire to compete for a championship in 2014-15 and the Lakers' roster and salary cap is wide open, so they'll undoubtedly be one of the most active teams in free agency and the trade market this summer.
Although one of the worst seasons in Los Angeles Lakers history mercifully ended Wednesday night in San Antonio, the drama around the 16-time NBA champions is never finished. Everybody except Kobe Bryant and general manager Mitch Kupchak is facing the possibility of relocation after the Lakers finished 27-55, the most losses in club history and the franchise's worst winning percentage since the Minneapolis Lakers' 72-game season in 1957-58. The changes didn't begin immediately Thursday when the Lakers began packing up their gear for their longest offseason in nine years. Kupchak and owner Jim Buss have plenty of time to decide how to get the Lakers back on the road to title contention, a process likely to take years after this long-successful team finally fell in spectacular fashion.
A look around the league and the web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.
C : HoopsAnalyst . Are the 2013-14 Atlanta Hawks the worst eighth playoff seed of the modern era? Somehow, strangely, no. PF : The Detroit News . In contrasting a previous television report, Vincent Goodwill is telling his readers that Grant Hill has no interest taking on a gig as Detroit Pistons general manager. Whatever his interest, anything would be better than Grant Hill slumming on ‘Inside Stuff.’ SF : SB Nation . Holy lord I don’t know where to start just watch this brilliant thing Jon Bois did with Kobe Bryant meeting up with a version of himself from 16 years ago via a video game please watch this. SG : Sports Illustrated . This is Lee Jenkins writing about Joakim Noah, with both of them in their primes. Assuming Lee Jenkins will ever move out of his writing prime. You should probably read this. PG : Minnesota Star-Tribune . As we discussed last week , we’ve probably watched Rick Adelman coach his final NBA game. 6th : SB Nation . Yes, it’s true that Carmelo Anthony is frustrated with the New York Knicks. Anyone should be, after a season like that. This is also a man who would have to turn down a five-year, $129 million contract to play for a storied franchise in a wonderful city under Phil Jackson. It’s April. We’ll come back to Carmelo in July. 7th : New York Post . Full disclosure: Clarence Gaines Jr. is the uncle of one of my best friends, but it’s not bias that is influencing me in telling Knicks fans that he is a scout and executive that can truly help Phil Jackson in so many beneficial ways as he works toward his first offseason as Knicks personnel boss. 8th : Grantland . Zach Lowe represents us silly League Pass folk in breaking down all the wonderful and not-so-passable things about the NBA’s 2013-14 regular season. A lovely read that I’ll be giving another look-over, as you should too. 9th : Hardwood Paroxysm . Jack Winter echoes what the three of us talked about earlier on Thursday: Andrew Bogut will be terribly missed by the Golden State Warriors in this postseason. 10th : Akron Beacon-Journal . Kyrie Irving gives the sort of milquetoast responses you’d respect about his future in Cleveland after yet another frustrating year with the Cavaliers.
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Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops