usen capped it by lofting a 20-yard pass over Dari

PORTLAND, Ore. Kennys Vargas Twins Jersey . - LaMarcus Aldridges first basket of this season was a bit of a surprise, even to him.Aldridge hit a 3-pointer and Portlands All-Star forward went on to score 27 points in the Trail Blazers 106-89 season-opening victory over the injury-depleted Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.Aldridge, who has been working on his long-range shot, said Russell Westbrooks defence on the play gave him no choice but to shoot.I dont think anyone was thinking my first shot would be a long 3, so it was pretty cool, he said.The Thunder only suited up nine players. Most notably they were without reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant, who had surgery for a fractured bone in his right foot this month and will likely be sidelined until December.Westbrook picked up the slack, with 38 points, including 26 in the first half.After trailing for much of the game, Portland pulled to an 89-80 lead with 7 minutes left on Damian Lillards 3-pointer. Nicolas Batum passed to Aldridge for the alley-oop dunk to put the Blazers up 93-83 and the Thunder could not catch up.It felt great, Aldridge said. Ive been waiting for this game for a while.Portland outscored the Thunder 31-12 in the fourth quarter. All five Blazers starters were in double figures.With 14 straight home-opening victories, the Blazers matched the Boston Celtics record set from 1979-92.Also sitting out the opener for the Thunder were guard Reggie Jackson (right ankle), forward Grant Jerrett (ankle surgery), guard Jeremy Lamb (lower back sprain), forward Mitch McGary (left foot fracture) and guard Anthony Morrow (left MCL sprain).Durant averaged 32 points last season when the Thunder went to the Western Conference finals, carrying the team when Westbrook was nursing a knee injury. The roles are reversed to start this season.I thought we played hard. Thats the only thing I can ask from the guys. Just compete, play hard and play for each other. They did that tonight but we made too many mistakes at the end of the game, Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.The Blazers opened with the exact same roster as last season, when they won 54 games and advanced to the second round of the playoffs.Despite being short-handed, Oklahoma City took a 13-5 lead on Westbrooks seven-point outburst.The Blazers pulled in front 35-34 in the second quarter on a 12-footer from Chris Kaman, picked up by the Blazers as a free agent in the off-season to help backup Robin Lopez.Westbrook hit five straight free throws to give the Thunder back the lead, and he dunked to close out the half make it 54-49 for Oklahoma City at the break.Westbrook pushed the lead to 71-65 midway through the third quarter with a layup and the free throw. But the Blazers never let the game get away from them and trailed just 77-75 going into the final quarter.Lillard, who had no points in the first half, hit a 3-pointer that gave Portland an 81-77 lead with 10:35 go.We put ourselves in position to win the game but we dont take moral victories around here and never will, Westbrook said. We just gotta find a way to close the game out better.TIP-INSTrail Blazers: The Blazers have a new floor at the Moda Center, thanks to a fan contest last spring that garnered 19,000 entries. The court is lighter within the 3-point arc and the keys are painted solid red. The Blazers pinwheel is still at centre court. ... Portland was without centre Meyers Leonard because of an upper respiratory infection.Thunder: Durant was on the court in his sweats in pregame warmups, his foot in a sturdy grey boot. He changed into a suit and watched the game from courtside. It was the first game against the Blazers he had missed in his career. ... Oklahoma Citys schedule has the Thunder travelling 6,300 total miles with two back-to-backs. ... As usual when the Thunder come to town, there were several Seattle SuperSonics jerseys in the crowd.BATUMS D: Batums defence of Westbrook in the fourth quarter helped boost the Blazers. Westbrook had just two of his points in the final period. Thats kind of been my job since I got here, to take the best player and to try to stop him, said the versatile forward. Batum finished with 16 points, five rebounds and six assists.QUOTING: Brooks on Westbrook: Russells our leader. Hes our leader on the court until Kevin comes back — and then weve got two leaders. I have no complaints how Russell played. Hes an emotional, competitive basketball player and hes going to lead us that way. I thought he was terrific tonight.LILLARDS SLOW START: Lillard finished with 10 points, seven in the fourth quarter alone. He and Wesley Matthews combined to make all five of their 3-point attempts in the period. I didnt want to force my rhythm on to the game, Lillard said. I knew there would come a point where I needed to attack or make a shot or make a play, and that time came.UP NEXTTrail Blazers: At Sacramento Kings on Friday night.Thunder: At Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night. Miguel Sano Jersey . Brazilian striker Brandao opened the scoring with a header in the 55th minute before winger Franck Tabanou volleyed home from close range to double the lead in the 61st. Phil Hughes Jersey .com) - The Ottawa Senators will try to keep their slim playoff hopes alive when they face the Chicago Blackhawks who are trying to secure their place in the post-season.CHICAGO - Whether its Jay Cutler or Jimmy Clausen starting at quarterback, the Chicago Bears simply cant figure out a way to win.At least they nearly pinned an embarrassing loss on Detroit this time.Joique Bell scored on a neat touchdown run in the fourth quarter, and the playoff-bound Lions overcame two interceptions by Matthew Stafford to beat the Bears 20-14 on Sunday.We stood tall, Bears coach Marc Trestman said. We played hard. Were not trying to sugar-coat it. We didnt win. Were here to win. But I felt our players were in it to win for four quarters today but Ive felt that way throughout the season. That hasnt changed.The Bears benched Cutler days earlier, having seen enough after he led the NFL with 18 interceptions and 24 turnovers through most of the first year of a seven-year contract he signed in the off-season. They turned to the cast-off Clausen, who hadnt started a game since 2010.Matthew Stafford outplayed Clausen, but just barely. He completed 22 of 39 passes for 243 yards and hit the 4,000-yard mark for the fourth straight year, but it was hardly an easy afternoon for him.Ndamukong Suh had two sacks, and now the playoff-bound Lions (11-4) can wrap up the NFC North title with a win next week against Green Bay. Regardless, the Lions will make their second trip to the post-season in four years and third in 16 years after Philadelphias loss to Washington on Saturday.They were hoping to lock up their first division championship since 1993. But with the Packers beating Tampa Bay, the North will be decided in next weeks game.Stafford threw interceptions in the end zone and near the goal line on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter with the Lions leading 7-0.Jeremy Ross muffed a punt near the end of the first half, leading to a touchdown for Chicago, and centre Dominic Raiola stepped on Chicago defensive tackle Ego Fergusons right ankle while he was on the ground early in the third quarter.Despite all that, the Lions came away with their highest win total since they went 12-4 in 1991.Reggie Bush ran for a touchdown and 54 yards. He added 44 yards receiving, and Detroit handed Chicago (5-10) its fourth straight loss.Clausen completed 23 of 39 passes for 181 yards in his first start since his 2010 rookie season with Carolina. He threw touchdowns to Matt Forte and Alshon Jeffery and played turnover-free bball until a late interception by Glover Quin. Torii Hunter Twins Jersey. Ive never given up, he said. You can never give up. The only thing you can ask for is another opportunity. Thats what coach Trestman gave me today, another opportunity. Like I said, I just went out there and tried to compete to the best of my ability, make the plays when the plays were there We just came up short and its really unfortunate.The Bears were leading 14-10 early in the fourth when Tim Jennings bumped Corey Fuller on a deep third-down pass, resulting in a 46-yard interference penalty.On the next play Bell — who sat out the first quarter after violating unspecified team rules — dodged two defenders and broke a tackle by Brock Vereen for a 17-yard TD that put Detroit up 17-14. Prater added a 30-yard field goal to make it a six-point game with 2:35 remaining.Prater gave Detroit a 10-7 lead with a 39-yard field goal on the opening drive of the second half. But the Bears answered with an 80-yard touchdown drive. Clausen capped it by lofting a 20-yard pass over Darius Slay to Jeffery in the end zone, giving Chicago its first lead at 14-10 with 2:45 left in the third.The Bears Jeremiah Ratliff blocked a 37-yard field goal by Prater early in the fourth, keeping it a four-point game.The Lions might have run away with this one if not for Staffords interceptions in the second quarter and a muffed punt by Ross that led to an 11-yard touchdown catch by Forte with 30 seconds left in the first half. But if Detroit let up knowing that it clinched a playoff spot, Stafford did not see it that way.We came out with great energy, he said. We moved the ball the whole day. We werent stagnant.Notes: Raiola said he did not intentionally step on Fergusons ankle and apologized to him for it. No penalty was called on the play. it was totally unintentional, Raiola said. I was stumbling out of the play, come on now, Im not out here trying to step on people. Ferguson was angry about it after the game, saying, You cant take away what happened with that play. You saw the play. ... The Lions have won four straight against Chicago. ... Bears DE Willie Young will miss the season finale after leaving the game in the third quarter after injuring his left Achilles tendon. He will not play next week at Minnesota.___Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '

 

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