Aldridge helps Blazers past Nuggets 11398

first_imgDENVER — Nicolas Batum got hot early, Wesley Matthews hit a critical shot when Denver was making a late charge and LaMarcus Aldridge added the finishing touches.That’s simply the way the Portland Trail Blazers plan to roll this season, a different player stepping up when he’s called.Aldridge scored nine of his 25 points late in the fourth quarter to help the Blazers hold off Denver 113-98 on Friday night, spoiling the home debut of Nuggets coach Brian Shaw and snapping their 23-game regular-season home winning streak.“Top to bottom, solid win for us,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said.Batum was the go-to scorer early, getting all 21 of his points in the first half. Then, Matthews came to the rescue as the Blazers saw a 26-point lead late in the third quarter shrink to 101-94 with 4:57 remaining. Matthews hit a 3-pointer late to give the Blazers some breathing room.And that set the stage for Aldridge, who closed out the victory by hitting jumper after jumper over a steady rotation of Denver defenders.“It’s good to have a guy like that who can make those plays and guys can play off of him,” said Stotts, whose team got back on track after a season-opening loss in Phoenix. “The way we kept our composure when they made their run is something we should be proud of.”last_img

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