Menu

BASKETBALL

Matthews powers Portland past Philadelphia

Wesley Matthews had 17 of his 28 points in the first quarter, helping the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 110-101 Saturday night.

Gerald Wallace added 25 points and a season-high eight assists for the Blazers (40-29), who won for the seventh time in nine games to move within a half-game of Denver for the fifth playoff spot in the Western Conference. LaMarcus Aldridge had 18 points and Nicolas Batum finished with 16.

Lou Williams had 24 points, part of a 59-point night for Philadelphia's reserves. Thaddeus Young had 19 points and Jodie Meeks added 17.

The Sixers (36-34) played without Andre Igoudala, who has been bothered by knee tendinitis. Leading scorer Elton Brand was held to 10 points.

The Blazers led the whole way. Philadelphia was as close as 92-89 with 9:11 remaining after Brand hit three straight shots, but Portland responded with a 9-0 run.

Philadelphia was coming off a 102-80 victory at Sacramento on Friday night and wrapping up a five-game road trip. But the Sixers showed little fatigue, shooting 50 percent from the field and playing aggressive in transition.

The Blazers, who beat Cleveland 111-70 on Thursday night, led 62-54 at halftime. Matthews had 20 points at the break after hitting six 3-pointers and seven of his eight shots.

Wallace converted a three-point play to increase Portland's lead to 83-73, but Philadelphia closed the third with a 10-4 surge. Williams capped the spurt with a 3-pointer.

The Blazers shot 51 percent from the field.

NOTES: The Blazers made 25 of 29 free throws, hitting their first 16 through three quarters. ... The Sixers had beaten Portland in seven of their last 10 meetings at the Rose Garden. ... Philadelphia leads the NBA in bench scoring with a 39.8 average.