Shrinking Blazer squad beats Warriors 105-89

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by Associated Press

NWCN.com

Posted on January 3, 2010 at 2:06 PM

 PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Portland Trail Blazers keep losing players -- and they keep winning games.
   Brandon Roy scored 37 points, Andre Miller added 23 and the Blazers won for the sixth time in seven games with a 105-89 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night despite dressing only eight players.
   "We're just laughing because we can't understand it either," said Martell Webster, who had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Blazers. "We're just going out and playing. We have nothing to lose."
   Monta Ellis continued his strong play against Portland, leading the Warriors with 30 points. Corey Maggette added 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Anthony Randolph had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Warriors, who shot 68.4 percent in the first quarter but 33.3 percent the rest of the way. They tied a season low for points and are 0-9 when scoring fewer than 100.
   Blazers have been hampered by a spate of injuries and essentially used six players. Rookie forward Jeff Pendergraph started but played just 9 minutes. Shavlik Randolph, a recent acquisition with an injury hardship exemption, played less than a minute.
   Of eight players on the shelf, the latest two to go down are forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who sustained a sprained ankle against the Clippers on Wednesday, and guard Steve Blake, who was hospitalized with pneumonia on Friday.
   "With only eight players we had to be very creative in finding ways to maximize our talent," said Juwan Howard, who added he had never seen one team have so many serious injuries in his 15-year NBA career.
   Golden State, on the other hand, is getting healthier. Center Andris Biedrins played his third game after missing 25, and power forward Ronny Turiaf rejoined the team Dec. 26 after missing 12 games. Even though Portland was missing big men Greg Oden, Joel Przybilla and Aldridge, neither Biedrins or Turiaf was a factor in the game.
   Roy was sensational for Portland, making 12 of 16 field goal attempts and 12 of 14 free throws in 42 minutes. He has scored 23 or more points in 15 consecutive games, the longest string of 20-point games in the league.
   He was nearly matched by Ellis, who had 13 of his points in the first quarter but was less effective as Portland pulled ahead in the fourth. Ellis had 34 points, eight assists and a career-high tying six steals against Portland in a 108-94 win on Nov. 20.
   "I can't win a game by myself," Ellis said. "It just wasn't there tonight. Nobody played up to their ability."
   The Warriors (9-23) are one of only three teams in the NBA with less than 10 wins.
   "That was one of the worst performances of the season -- that I coached anyway; we had a couple of stinkers when I was sick," Golden State coach Don Nelson said. "We just didn't get any performances out of our smalls. They went and matched up with us and their smalls beat our smalls."
   Golden State ran out to a 17-3 lead and was up 41-31 after the first quarter, making 15 of 22 from the field. The second quarter was an entirely different story for the Warriors, who went just 6 of 18 from the field and scored only 15 points while letting Portland back in the game. Martell Webster hit a pair of free throws to pull the Blazers within one, 56-55 at the half.
   The Blazers took their first lead early in the third after Webster made two 20-footers. Anthony Randolph scored to give the Warriors a 69-66 lead, but Portland closed out the third with a 12-4 run.
   Meanwhile, the Warriors had lost all ability to hit shots and Portland gained a comfortable advantage. Webster made a 3-pointer to give the Blazers an 89-80 lead. Roy dunked and then hit two free throws with 3:16 remaining to put Portland up by 12 and essentially seal the game.
   NOTES: Golden State is 3-16 on the road this season. ... The Warriors have dominated the series of late, winning five of the last seven. ... Rookie Dante Cunningham had a career-high 10 rebounds for Portland.
 

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