Portland jets past Nets 108-98 for 7th straight win
Portland Trail Blazers 108, BROOKLYN NETS 98
Monday night, Barclays Center, 17,732 announced attendance
After giving up 40 points in the first quarter, the Blazers out-hustled and outshot the laboring Nets, who fell to 3-7.
WHAT IT MEANS
Portland is 9-2 -- and only a half-game behind NBA conference leaders Indiana and San Antonio, both 9-1.
The Blazers have won seven in a row. It's the first streak of seven or more since Portland won 13 straight in 2007-08.
Portland is guaranteed of a winning record on its four-game trip. The Blazers are 3-0 going into Wednesday's game at 2-7 Milwaukee.
LaMarcus Aldridge's double-double streak ended at five, but he still scored a game-high 27 points and added eight rebounds.
Wesley Matthews made 5 of 8 from 3-point range and had 24 points.
Damian Lillard had 19 points and a game-high nine assists against rookie coach Jason Kidd's Nets.
The bench played a key role for Portland, too, notably Joel Freeland and Thomas Robinson inside and Mo Williams in the backcourt. Williams had 12 points and six rebounds. Freeland had four points and four rebounds. Robinson had nine points and seven rebounds.
New Jersey made 14 of 19 from the field in the first quarter -- then 17 of 66 the rest of the way.
Portland won the third quarter 27-12 to take an 83-78 lead.
A 12-4 run at the start of the fourth quarter pushed the Blazers' lead to 95-82, and the Nets never challenged again.
Nets forward Kevin Garnett was 6 of 6 from the floor in the opening frame -- and 2 of 13 over the final three periods.
For New Jersey, point guard Deron Williams and center Brook Lopez, twin brother of Portland center Robin Lopez, sat out with sprained ankles.
The Blazers will wrap up their trip with a 5 p.m. PT game at Milwaukee (CSNNW).