Batum rolls with 15-7-7 line against Jazz (Apr 12 12:00 ET )
Nicolas Batum scored 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting with seven rebounds, seven assists, two steals, one block and one three in Friday's win over the Jazz.
The Scoop: The Blazers pulled to within a half-game of the No. 4 Rockets, but they need to finish higher because Houston has the tiebreaker. Damian Lillard went for 16 and six with four treys, Robin Lopez had 12 and eight with a block, Wesley Matthews hit three triples and scored 21 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge went for 18 and 14 but didn't have any defensive stats.
With a playoff berth locked up, the Portland Trail Blazers can now get greedy and turn their attention to an outside shot at home-court advantage in the first round. With four games remaining and a 2 1/2-game gap between themselves and the No. 4 seed, the Blazers will certainly need to take advantage of Wednesday night's home date with the struggling and banged-up Sacramento Kings. While starting the playoffs at home would be a nice perk, Portland isn't concerned with who its opponent is. "We're in the West, so I don't really care," forward Nicolas Batum told the team's official website.
The Scoop:He suffered an avulsion fracture back in January and the Frenchman has worn a splint since. His shooting numbers were down to begin with, but they've come back to life shooting 48.3 percent from the field in his last five. Batum should be fine and will look to finish strong.
Given an opportunity to clinch a postseason berth, the Trail Blazers made the most if it. LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 18 rebounds and Portland earned a playoff spot for the first time in three seasons with a 100-94 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday night. Wesley Matthews added 21 points, Damian Lillard 20 and Nicolas Batum had 16 points and 12 rebounds for Portland (50-28). The Blazers are in fifth place in the Western Conference with four games remaining.
Mo Williams scored 18 and the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Chicago Bulls, 91-74. This is the second win in as many games for Portland (47-27) after beating Atlanta on Thursday. Williams went 7-12 from the field, in a quality performance offensively. Other top performers for Portland were Robin Lopez with 13 points and 9 rebounds, and Nicolas Batum with 13 points and 7 rebounds.
Mo Williams scored 18 points to lead five players in double figures as the Portland Trail Blazers won on the road for a second straight night with a 91-74 rout of the Chicago Bulls on Friday night. Damian Lillard had 16 points, Nicolas Batum and Robin Lopez each had 13, Wesley Matthews had 11 and Thomas Robinson added 10 for the Blazers, who won in Atlanta on Thursday after dropping the first three games of their road trip. The Blazers got past the Bulls easily, despite a quiet night from All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge, who was playing just his second game after missing two weeks with a back injury. The Bulls, who had a chance to clinch a playoff spot with a win, lost both games of the season series and have dropped 11 of 13 overall against Portland, including five of seven at the United Center.
Perhaps three days off after a big win wasnt a recipe for success, as the Bulls (40-32) were throttled by the Trail Blazers (47-27), 91-74, Friday night at the United Center in a game that was decided shortly after halftime. Carlos Boozer (16 points, 12 rebounds) helped the Bulls get off to a quick start, but Portland quickly rallied to seize the lead behind the tandem of versatile small forward Nicolas Batum (13 points, seven rebounds, four assists) and All-Star point guard Damian Lillard (16 points), the leagues reigning Rookie of the Year. But after a 9-0 Blazers run, the Bulls stormed back to make it a tight-knit affair. Boozer continued to lead the way, but despite his big opening period and Joakim Noah (11 points, 10 rebounds, six assists) playing solid defense on Portland All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (13 rebounds)originally a 2006 Bulls first-round draft pick, though he was immediately traded for Tyrus Thomasthe Bulls faced a 19-16 deficit after the first quarter.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 25 points and added 16 rebounds, his 37th double-double of the season, to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a victory over the Atlanta Hawks, 100-85. This snaps a three-game losing streak for Portland (46-27). Other key players for Portland included Damian Lillard with 21 points and 6 rebounds, Nicolas Batum with 12 points and 7 rebounds, and Robin Lopez with 11 points and 7 rebounds. On 10-18 shooting, including 1-4 from behind the arc, Jeff Teague scored 22 points for Atlanta in the loss.
Nicolas Batum shot just 3-of-9 to score six points vs. the Magic, while adding nine rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block.
The Scoop:The poor shooting was accompanied by a game-high six turnovers. Batum is sometimes unselfish to a fault, passing up good shots for riskier assist opportunities, and the Blazers surely wish he'd cracked double-digits with LaMarcus Aldridge once again unavailable on Tuesday. Batum will look to bounce back in Thursday's road game vs. the Hawks.
Mar 25 12:00 ET
News (various sources)
Rockets rest Harden, Lin, Parsons for finale (The Associated Press) (4 Hours Ago | courtesy: The Associated Press) NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Houston Rockets, already locked into the fourth seed in the Western Conference playoffs, have decided to rest James Harden, Jeremy Lin and Chandler Parsons for Wednesday night's regular season finale against the New Orleans Pelicans. More...