Portland got its power forward involved early on Monday and it paid off. Aldridge scored 20 points to lead the Trail Blazers to their 18th victory in the past 20 games, a 99-73 victory against the New Jersey Nets.
"We just need to establish a low post," McMillan said. "I felt like we didn't have the movement that we needed in our last game against Toronto. Everything was perimeter. Everything was pick and roll. We didn't run a lot of sets. We were too predictable."
Aldridge hit a 19-foot jumper for the first points of the game and the Trail Blazers surged to an 8-1 lead. They never let up in the quarter, expanding the lead to 25-12 after one.
"We came out a little bit more aggressive going to the basket," Aldridge said. "We were more in charge and once we got rolling, it just kept going."
Joel Przybilla had a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with nine points as Portland rebounded from the 116-109 double-overtime loss to the Raptors in Toronto.
While the Trail Blazers took control in the first period, the Net suffered through a second successive miserable offensive quarter after scoring only nine points in the final period Friday in the 86-77 home loss to Boston.
Against Portland, the Nets were 4-for-19 from the field in the opening quarter.
"I'm going to take responsibility because obviously, we weren't prepared," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "We weren't ready to play. This was a poor performance on everyone's part."
The Nets never recovered from the opening period.
"They definitely came out with a big punch and lot of energy from beginning to end," Carter said. "They put it all together in the first quarter and they kept going from there."
The Nets reserves provided a brief spark, opening the second quarter with an 8-2 run that trimmed the Trail Blazers' lead to 27-20 as Bostjan Nachbar, Antoine Wright, Darrell Armstrong and Allen had baskets. The Nets could muster only 14 more points in the half as Trail Blazers headed to the locker room with a 49-34 lead.
Portland remained comfortably ahead after three quarters at 68-53 and cruised through the final period.
|Vince Carter (10 points) and the Nets find playing the red-hot Blazers quite a struggle. (AP)|
|Portland (23-14) «||25||24||19||31||99|
|New Jersey (18-19)||12||22||19||20||73|
|POR:L. Aldridge 20 Pts
POR:J. Przybilla 12 Reb
POR:J. Jack 7 Ast
|NJ:M. Allen 17 Pts
NJ:M. Allen 8 Reb
NJ:J. Kidd 6 Ast
|Players of the Game|
|L. Aldridge, PF||33||9-18||2-2||7||3||2||20|
|J. Przybilla, C||31||4-6||1-2||12||0||3||9|
|B. Roy, SG||30||7-10||0-0||3||3||2||16|
|S. Blake, PG||28||2-4||1-1||3||5||2||5|
|M. Webster, SG||26||2-5||0-0||5||2||1||6|
|J. Jack, PG||28||5-7||3-3||3||7||1||15|
|J. Jones, SF||22||3-8||1-1||2||0||1||10|
|T. Outlaw, SF||15||5-9||3-4||3||0||1||13|
|C. Frye, PF||15||0-3||3-4||1||2||2||3|
|S. Rodriguez, PG||8||0-0||2-2||1||1||1||2|
|R. LaFrentz, PF||3||0-0||0-0||0||0||1||0|
|T. Green, PG||3||0-0||0-0||1||0||0||0|
|D. Miles, SF||Did Not Play|
|J. McRoberts, PF||Did Not Play|
|G. Oden, C||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|V. Carter, SG||36||2-9||5-6||5||4||2||10|
|J. Kidd, PG||34||3-13||2-2||6||6||0||10|
|R. Jefferson, SF||34||2-11||5-7||0||4||2||9|
|S. Williams, PF||28||3-9||2-3||5||0||3||8|
|J. Boone, PF||22||2-5||0-0||5||0||1||4|
|M. Allen, PF||26||8-14||1-2||8||0||3||17|
|B. Nachbar, SF||18||3-7||2-2||3||2||3||8|
|D. Armstrong, PG||17||1-2||0-0||1||2||1||2|
|A. Wright, SF||13||1-3||0-0||3||0||0||2|
|M. Williams, PG||9||1-4||0-0||0||0||0||3|
|J. Magloire, C||4||0-0||0-0||2||0||0||0|
|J. Collins, C||Did Not Play|
|N. Krstic, C||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|