Barton sparks Blazers to 124-80 rout of Nets
- Article by: ANNE M. PETERSON
- Associated Press
- February 26, 2014 - 11:45 PM
PORTLAND, Ore. — Will Barton had a season-high 20 points and career-high 11 rebounds, providing a spark off the bench for the short-handed Portland Trail Blazers in a 124-80 rout of the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.
The Blazers won their fourth straight game despite missing forward LaMarcus Aldridge, the team's top scorer and rebounder who has been out five straight games with a left groin sprain.
Jason Collins, who became the NBA's first openly gay player when he signed a 10-day contract with the Nets on Sunday, entered the game without fan reaction and played a pair of scoreless stretches in the fourth quarter when coach Jason Kidd had taken out his starters.
Mo Williams scored 21 points and Nicolas Batum had 19 in three quarters to lead seven Trail Blazers in double figures. Portland coach Terry Stotts also pulled his starters in the fourth quarter.
Deron Williams had 12 points for the Nets, who had their lowest point total this season.
The Blazers were hurting up front. In addition to Aldridge, Portland also was without forward Joel Freeland, who was missing his sixth game with a right knee sprain, and second-year center Myers Leonard, who was out with a right ankle sprain.
The Blazers also announced just before the game that forward Thomas Robinson, a key reserve in Aldridge's absence, injured his left knee in Portland's 100-95 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night. Results of an MRI on Wednesday were negative.
The Blazers started Dorell Wright in place of Aldridge, who leads the Blazers with an average of 23.9 points and 11.4 rebounds.
The Nets saw the return of starting guard Shaun Livingston, who did not play in Brooklyn's 108-102 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday because of a bruised tailbone.
The Blazers opened with an 11-2 run, which was countered by a 10-2 run by the Nets, capped by a layup that gave Brooklyn a 16-15 lead. Portland answered with a 12-2 run to go up 29-20 going into the second quarter.
Barton's alley-oop dunk from Williams put Portland up 33-22. His jumper extended the lead to 45-30, and then a 3-pointer and his dunk pushed it to 58-34 at the break. Barton scored 12 points in the second quarter as the Blazers finished off the first half on a 19-4 run.
Portland extended its lead to as many as 34 points in the third quarter.
Hours after Collins signed on Sunday he was on the court for the Nets, playing 11 minutes with two rebounds and a steal against the Lakers. He also had five fouls.
Against the Blazers, Collins played seven total minutes and attempted a field goal. The Nets signed him to help in the absence of center Brook Lopez, who is out for the season because of a broken right foot.
NOTES: Portland won the only other meeting between the teams this season, 108-98 at the Barclay's Center. ... Portland got a scare in the first quarter when starting guard Wesley Matthews fell after getting tangled up with Paul Piece and briefly retreated to the locker room. Matthews later returned to hearty applause from the fans. ... Brooklyn's 34 points was a first-half low for a Portland opponent.
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