Charlotte at Portland

Blazers blast Bobcats by 37 despite losing prez on same day

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

PORTLAND, Ore. -- It was some kind of day for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Rookie LaMarcus Aldridge scored 30 points, Zach Randolph and Martell Webster each added 20, and the Blazers capped a strange day with a 127-90 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Thursday night.

Hours earlier, Blazers president and general manager Steve Patterson abruptly resigned after owner Paul Allen decided not to renew his contract.

At halftime, with Portland ahead 60-40, Allen gave a press conference where he affirmed his recommitment to the Blazers and pledged to follow through on efforts to buy back the Rose Garden Arena, which he lost two years ago in bankruptcy.

The Blazers also lost center Joel Przybilla for the season after an MRI revealed the need for arthroscopic surgery.

Matt Carroll had 20 points and Gerald Wallace added 13 for the Bobcats, who matched a season high with their fourth consecutive loss.

With Portland having its way almost every time down the floor, the highly anticipated battle of rookie of the year candidates never really materialized. Portland's Brandon Roy held up his end with 14 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, but Charlotte's Adam Morrison made just four of 11 shots for 12 points.

The second pick in last year's draft, Aldridge was the rookie who sizzled. He made just his eighth start of the season, taking Przybilla's place, and played 27 minutes before leaving in the third quarter.

Portland shot 58.3 percent and had 34 assists. The Blazers outrebounded Charlotte 45-31.

Portland was coming off demoralizing losses to Memphis and Seattle. After losing 97-73 to the Sonics on Monday, Randolph called a players-only meeting at Wednesday's practice.

"We had a man-to-man talk about finishing strong and sticking together and playing for each other," Randolph said. "I'd seen the look on the guys' faces and everybody was panicking, so I just wanted to regroup and remind them there would be games like this, but it's an 82-game season."

Portland jumped out to a 31-16 lead that reached 25 points in the first half.

The second half was a series of lob dunks, breakaway layups and wide-open 3-pointers as the Blazers eventually ran the lead to 46.

"We had no answer for them tonight," Carroll said. "Their whole team was shooting the ball well. We would take away their post play and their perimeter players knocked down shots. I didn't know Aldridge could shoot the ball like that. If he continues to shoot like that, he'll be very good."

The Blazers will be run temporarily by Tod Leiweke, chief executive officer of the Seattle Seahawks. Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, also owns the NFL's Seahawks.

Leiweke, who will also head a new company that will oversee all of Allen's sports ventures, will be in charge of hiring a new president and new general manager.

"I just want to restate my commitment," Allen said. "I am very excited about the Blazers future. It was a pretty amazing first half tonight. I think you can see the potential. I think that's what has me excited, that's what has Tod excited. So we are very excited about the future prospects and what we are going to do here in the future."

Patterson had been the team president since 2003 and became the GM after John Nash was fired last May. He had been successful at cutting payroll and repairing Portland's "Jail Blazers" image, but the team's financial outlook took a bleak turn on his watch, and he was criticized for secretly returning money to Darius Miles after Miles was fined for a profanity-laced tirade against then-coach Maurice Cheeks.

"I don't know much about that situation," Roy said about Patterson's resignation, "but I do know that if we play well the fans will come."

Roy was named the Western Conference rookie of the month for the second consecutive month. He averaged 17.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists in February, including three 20-point performances. The Blazers kicked off a Rookie of the Year campaign for Roy on Tuesday at an elementary school in tiny Roy, Ore.

Notes

  • Surgery ends a disappointing season for Przybilla, who averaged just 2.0 points and 3.9 rebounds in 43 games, after signing a five-year, $32 million extension this summer.
  • Blazer assistant general manager Kevin Pritchard will be a candidate for the GM job, Leiweke said.
  • Charlotte forward Emeka Okafor missed his third straight game. Okafor, the team's second-leading scorer and top rebounder, strained his left calf Saturday against Toronto.
  • The Blazers biggest margin of victory is 50 points against Cleveland in 1982.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Portland turns to rookie LaMarcus Aldridge, who scores 30 points on 12-of-19 shooting.  (Getty Images)
Portland turns to rookie LaMarcus Aldridge, who scores 30 points on 12-of-19 shooting. (Getty Images)
Scoreboard
Charlotte (22-37) 1624262490
Portland (25-34) «31294324127
CHA:M. Carroll 20 Pts
CHA:J. Voskuhl 5 Reb
CHA:B. Knight 4 Ast
POR:L. Aldridge 30 Pts
POR:B. Roy 8 Reb
POR:B. Roy 9 Ast
Players of the Game
PortlandCharlotte

L. Aldridge

M. Carroll
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
30602022

Related Video

Charlotte
M. Carroll, SG277-102-222220
R. Felton, PG242-102-41226
G. Wallace, SF236-100-232113
P. Brezec, C143-60-04026
D. Anderson, SG80-10-01110
A. Morrison, SG304-113-441012
B. Knight, PG242-71-11435
R. Hollins, C232-32-24066
J. Voskuhl, C223-91-15037
J. McInnis, PG203-62-21118
W. Herrmann, SF131-40-05002
E. Williams, PF121-43-30025
O. Harrington, PFDid Not Play
E. Okafor, CDid Not Play
S. May, FDid Not Play
Totals 34-8116-2131132390
 42.0%76.2% 
Portland
B. Roy, SG306-80-089214
Z. Randolph, PF297-145-566120
L. Aldridge, C2612-196-660230
J. Jack, PG251-41-16314
I. Udoka, SF194-41-143211
M. Webster, SG297-102-430120
F. Jones, SG232-60-00434
T. Outlaw, PF215-93-442414
J. Magloire, C163-60-25046
S. Rodriguez, PG151-20-02602
D. Dickau, PG61-20-01122
R. LaFrentz, PFDid Not Play
D. Miles, SFDid Not Play
J. Przybilla, CDid Not Play
Totals 49-8418-23453422127
 58.3%78.3% 
Other Games
Cle 92 Final
Dal 95
LAC 75 Final
Sea 77