The New Jersey Nets better hope that the trade for Carmelo Anthony really is nearing completion, because the current roster is showing little sign of turning things around. The Nets have now lost the first three games of their four-game West Coast road trip, five in a row and 10 of their last 11. Their latest setback was a 96-89 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden.
Brook Lopez continued his aggressive ways on offense with his second consecutive game scoring more than 30 points. Against the Blazers the Nets center had 32 while calling for the ball all game long. Unfortunately for the Nets, there wasn't much help for Lopez on the offensive end. Sasha Vujacic and Travis Outlaw were the only others to score in double figures with 13 and 11, respectively.
LaMarcus Aldridge notched 27 points to help the Blazers stop a three game losing streak and pick up their first victory at home in nearly two weeks. Nicolas Batum added 23 points while Andre Miller scored 19 and dished out 8 assists.
The Nets had a seven point lead at halftime and even withstood a 17-0 run from Portland in the third quarter to take a two point lead into the fourth quarter and were up one with two minutes remaining. However, a season-low 13 points in the final quarter doomed New Jersey as the Portland defense clamped down on Lopez and the Nets offense.
New Jersey shot just 33 percent in the fourth quarter while nearly turning the ball over (five) as many times as they rebounded it (six).
"We just turned the ball over at the most inopportune times," head coach Avery Johnson said.
The Blazers have now won 13 of their last 14 against the Nets in Portland.
New Jersey will finish their four game road trip Monday afternoon against the Golden State Warriors.
|Final - 1.15.2011||1||2||3||4||Total|
|New Jersey Nets||26||27||23||13||89|
|Portland Trail Blazers||18||28||28||22||96|