PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Trail Blazers went through a lot of changes Tuesday. The one they enjoyed most was getting back to their winning ways at home after beating the Los Angeles Clippers 109-87.
Portland, which lost four of its past six home games before the All-Star break, had little trouble putting away the struggling Clippers, who have lost five consecutive games.
Martell Webster tied a career high with 28 points, while LaMarcus Aldridge scored 22 for the Blazers (32-24). Webster went 7 of 11 from 3-point range in tying a career high he set Jan. 23 against Detroit. Aldridge, who hit nine of 16 shots, has scored at least 15 points in 15 consecutive games, the longest stretch of his four-year career.
"We got off to a good start and that is something we've been trying to improve on," Portland center Juwan Howard said. "We were really ready to start the second half of the season on a good note."
Portland made a big change to its starting lineup, but it may have backfired. Brandon Roy, who missed 15 games because of a pulled right hamstring, had a mixed performance in his first appearance since Jan. 20. The All-Star guard shot 2 of 7 and scored four points in 15 minutes during the first half, but sat out the second half due to a recurrence of the hamstring injury.
Before pregame warmups, Blazers coach Nate McMillan said Roy wouldn't play, but would try to go Friday against Boston. But minutes before the game, it was announced that Roy felt good enough to go, and was inserted into the starting lineup.
"I talked to him before the game and I thought he needed a little push," McMillan said. "He was more concerned about conditioning."
Roy, who said his hamstring felt "good enough to try it," sounded pessimistic about his short-term future. Roy said it was doubtful that he would play against Boston.
"It got to the point where I told Coach that I couldn't play with it anymore," Roy said. "It was hard to get a rhythm because I was more concerned about making a move than about shooting the basketball. So if I'm thinking that much, then it's not really worth being out there.
"The next step might be to wait until this thing is behind me."
Earlier Tuesday, Portland and Los Angeles made a three-player trade in which the Blazers acquired 6-foot-11 center Marcus Camby in exchange for guard Steve Blake and forward Travis Outlaw. Camby was averaging 7.7 points and 12 rebounds a game for the Clippers this season. None of the three played.
Camby sat behind Portland's bench during the game, and was introduced to the Rose Garden crowd midway through the first quarter, to a standing ovation.
Webster was hot early and late. The 6-7 forward, who led the NBA with 42 3-pointers during January, canned four during the first half, then hit three more during the game's final 2:29.
"His shooting has been great, and we need that," McMillan said. "He's a big weapon on the floor when you have teams double-teaming LaMarcus and Brandon out there."
Aldridge and Andre Miller, who scored 10 points and handed out 12 assists, fueled Portland's offense when Webster wasn't shooting. Aldridge and Webster helped stake the Blazers to a 16-7 lead midway through the first quarter, and a 49-38 halftime lead.
Miller's passing rescued Portland from its one tough stretch of the game. Los Angeles, which trailed 69-48 midway through the third quarter, started the fourth quarter on a 9-2 run to cut the deficit to five points. But with Miller handing out five assists and Webster's sharp shooting, Portland outscored the Clippers 30-13 during the game's final 8:48 to run away with the win.
Portland played an NBA-high 55 games before the All-Star break. The Blazers have only four back-to-back game situations remaining this season. ... Los Angeles is 0-4 under coach Kim Hughes since he replaced Mike Dunleavy, who stepped down Feb. 4. ... The Clippers had 11 turnovers during the first 14 minutes Tuesday. ... Camby sat behind Portland's bench during the game, and was introduced to the Rose Garden crowd midway through the first quarter, to a standing ovation. ... Portland is 3-4 in its past seven home games. ... The Rev. Jesse Jackson was at the game.
- Joe Crawford
- Scott Wall
- John Goble