PORTLAND — Will Barton had a season-high 20 points and career-high 11 rebounds, providing a spark off the bench for the short-handed Portland Trail Blazers in a 124-80 rout of the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.
The Blazers won their fourth straight game despite missing forward LaMarcus Aldridge, the team’s top scorer and rebounder who has been out five straight games with a left groin sprain.
Jason Collins, who became the NBA’s first openly gay player when he signed a 10-day contract with the Nets on Sunday, entered the game without fan reaction and played a pair of scoreless stretches in the fourth quarter when coach Jason Kidd had taken out his starters.
Mo Williams scored 21 points and Nicolas Batum had 19 in three quarters to lead seven Trail Blazers in double figures. Portland coach Terry Stotts also pulled his starters in the fourth quarter.
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Deron Williams had 12 points for the Nets, who had their lowest point total of the season.
PORTLAND — Jason Collins seemed a bit taken aback that his No. 98 Nets jersey is a top seller on NBA.com.
Collins beat out the likes of Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and all of the league’s main superstars, no doubt a humbling moment for the 35-year-old, 12-year veteran who has averaged 3.8 points and 3.6 rebounds in his 714 career games.
“It’s really cool,” Collins said before the Nets met the Blazers. “Obviously, it’s sort of uncharted waters. But it’s really cool.”
A league spokesperson said four of the top five jersey-selling items centered around the newest Net. Besides his Nets replica black road jersey and the home white one, a women’s replica black jersey and also a men’s T-shirt were flying off the shelves.
Asked if he’s surprised by his jersey’s popularity in such a short time, Collins chuckled.
“I really wasn’t thinking along those lines,” he said. “But it’s really cool that a lot of people are interested in going out and getting a Brooklyn 98 jersey.”
Collins wears No. 98 as a tribute to Matthew Shepard, who was killed in an anti-gay hate crime in 1998. Shepard’s family is scheduled to meet with Collins when the Nets take on the Nuggets in Denver on Thursday night, a visit he declined to get into specifics about, preferring to keep it as personal as possible.
• The Philadelphia 76ers completed a buyout of the contract of Danny Granger, enabling the veteran forward to sign with any team assuming he clears waivers Friday. Granger, who has averaged 17.6 points in his nine seasons, was reportedly being wooed by the Clippers and the Spurs.
• Kyrie Irving scored 14 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter to help the Cleveland Cavaliers beat host Oklahoma City 114-104, giving the Thunder its third straight loss since the All-Star break. Ex-Husky Spencer Hawes had 19 points for Cleveland. Kevin Durant had 28 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for Oklahoma City.
• Dirk Nowitzki shook off an early shoulder issue to finish with 18 points in the host Dallas Mavericks’ 108-89 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, who lost All-Star Anthony Davis to a shoulder injury.
• Marco Belinelli had 20 points to lead eight San Antonio players in double figures, and the host Spurs beat the Detroit Pistons 120-110. Rodney Stuckey from Kentwood High School and Eastern Washington had 17 points for Detroit.
• Former Husky Tony Wroten scored 15 points in the host Philadelphia 76ers’ 101-90 loss to the Orlando Magic.
• Injured Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose has started running, though coach Tom Thibodeau said Rose is nowhere near ready to practice.