PORTLAND — LaMarcus Aldridge insists he wasn’t thinking about an All-Star spot.
“I was just trying to win," shrugged the Trail Blazers forward after scoring 27 points in Portland’s 100-80 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.
The victory snapped a six-game losing streak for the Blazers. Portland also ended a four-game skid at home and avoided dropping five straight at the Rose Garden for the first time since 2006.
Aldridge was a first-time All-Star last year, but is by no means a lock this season. The reserves, selected by the coaches from each conference, will be announced today.
Rookie Damian Lillard added 20 points and eight assists, while J.J. Hickson had 14 points and 13 rebounds for his 24th double-double this season. Portland shot a season-high 56.4 percent from the floor against Indiana, the league’s best defensive team. No other team had shot that well from the floor against the Pacers this season.
Paul George had 22 points and seven rebounds for Indiana, which had won seven straight against Western Conference teams, its longest streak since 2004. Indiana (26-17) lost for the third time in 10 games.
“We knew coming in that this team was going to challenge us, especially on their floor," said George. “They had us scrambling, running all over the floor all night. Aldridge did a good job of knocking shots down and getting hot. ‘’
Portland snapped a 10-game streak in which all of its games were decided by six points or less, a franchise record.
“It was refreshing, especially since we were on the good side of it," Blazers coach Stotts said about the lopsided margin. “That 10-game streak of last-minute games, that was fun basketball but it was tough. To be honest, when you’re up 15 with three minutes to go, you still don’t think you quite have it. But we needed a win like that."
After the Blazers led through the first quarter, D.J. Augustin tied it at 20 with a 3-pointer to start the second quarter. Augustin hit another 3 to put the Pacers ahead 24-22, but the lead was short-lived and Portland went up 34-26 on rookie Will Barton’s running jumper and layup. Aldridge made three consecutive long jumpers for a 44-28 lead as Portland broke it open with a 22-4 run. The Blazers led 44-32 at the half.
His dunk made it 55-42 midway through the third quarter.
Lillard’s pull-up jumper gave the Blazers a 76-59 lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Blazers’ biggest margin of the game was the final score. It was Portland’s greatest margin of victory this season.
“They came out and played with great desperation. It’s very difficult to come out and play a really good team on a six-game losing streak," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. “They came out and brought the fight to us with their defense."
Also on Wednesday:
OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry had 31 points and seven assists, David Lee finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds, and Golden State beat Oklahoma City. Kevin Durant had 33 points, nine assists and five rebounds for the Thunder, who blew an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Luis Scola scored 21 points and Phoenix won its first game under new coach Lindsey Hunter, beating Sacramento.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Darrell Arthur scored 20 points and Mike Conley added 19 as Memphis beat Los Angeles, handing the Lakers their fourth straight loss and 10th in 12 games.
MIAMI — Dwyane Wade scored 35 points, LeBron James got his 34th career triple-double and Miami rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat Toronto.
MINNEAPOLIS — Brook Lopez strengthened his case for a spot on the All-Star team with 22 points on 10-for-16 shooting, helping Brooklyn hold off Minnesota.
CHICAGO — Nate Robinson had 11 points and seven assists in 21 minutes off the bench, leading a furious fourth-quarter comeback that carried Chicago past Detroit. The Bulls overcame a 17-point deficit to beat the Pistons for the 17th straight time.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Josh Smith had 30 points and 13 rebounds, and Atlanta snapped a six-game road losing streak with a win over Charlotte.
HOUSTON — Ty Lawson scored 21 points, Wilson Chandler had 20 and Denver pulled away in the third quarter against mistake-prone Houston.
SAN ANTONIO — Tony Parker had 24 points and 13 assists as San Antonio rallied past New Orleans, overcoming the absence of Tim Duncan and coach Gregg Popovich for its 15th straight win at home.
SALT LAKE CITY — Paul Millsap had 16 points and 15 rebounds to help Utah hold off Washington.