PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and nine rebounds and the Portland Trail Blazers rallied after surrendering the lead to New Jersey in the fourth quarter for a 101-88 victory over the Nets on Wednesday night.
Nic Batum added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Blazers, who led by as many as 16 points in the third quarter before a late surge put New Jersey in front in the fourth.
Portland’s turnaround came when Kris Humphries was called for goaltending on J.J. Hickson, making it 86-85 for the Blazers with 5:16 left. Batum added a 3-pointer to extend it and New Jersey never recovered.
Humphries had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Nets (19-37), who were coming off a 91-87 loss to the Lakers the night before.
Nets guard Deron Williams was a late scratch because of the stomach flu, disappointing Blazers fans who are hoping the team will target him this summer in free agency. Williams is leading the Nets with 21.6 points per game.
Gerald Wallace was traded to the Nets from the Blazers at the trade deadline, the same day the Blazers fired coach Nate McMillan. Wallace was greeted by cheers from the fans at the Rose Garden during pre-game introductions.
But after averaging 20.3 points and nine rebounds over his past three games, Wallace had eight points and nine rebounds against his former team.
The Blazers (26-29) were still clinging to hopes they’ll make the playoffs, although their chances are growing ever dimmer. They’ve gone 6-6 over the past 12 games under interim coach Kaleb Canales, who took over when McMillan was fired. Portland hasn’t won back-to-back games since January.
The Blazers saw the return of Jamal Crawford, who missed Portland’s 102-97 loss to Utah on Monday with right knee tendinitis.
Portland jumped to a 21-13 lead early, but the Nets rallied to go ahead 23-21 on two consecutive 3-pointers from DeShawn Stevenson.
The Blazers pulled back in front 41-32 on Aldridge’s layup and free throw late in the second quarter, but a late run by the Nets narrowed it to 46-44 at the half.
Aldridge went on a tear to start the second half, giving the Blazers a 64-48 lead on a fast-break dunk and a tip-in. Luke Babbitt closed the third quarter with a 3-pointer to make it 76-64.
Notes: The Nets have dropped three straight to Portland. … A fan in the stands held a sign reading “Rip City Loves Wallace.”… The Nets had a three-game winning streak snapped with their loss to the Lakers on Tuesday.
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