NEW YORK – LaMarcus Aldridge scored 27 points, Wesley Matthews added 24 and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Brooklyn Nets 108-98 Monday night for their seventh straight victory.
Damian Lillard finished with 19 points and nine assists as the Trail Blazers withstood the Nets’ blistering start to win seven in a row in the same season for the first time since a 13-game run in December 2007.
Portland (9-2) is a half-game behind San Antonio and Indiana for the league’s best record.
Shaun Livingston scored 23 points for the Nets, who stormed out to their best first quarter of the season and then seemed to run out of gas against the younger Trail Blazers.
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Kevin Garnett made all six of his shots in the 40-point first period, then went 2 for 13 from there to finish with a season-high 16 points.
Brooklyn shot 22 percent (9 of 41) in the second half.
“I take the blame for this,” Nets coach Jason Kidd said of the loss. “We got stagnant on the offensive end, so that falls on my shoulders.”
• Luol Deng scored 21 points and the host Chicago Bulls beat Charlotte 86-81 despite shooting a mere 36 percent. The Bulls have won five in a row.
• Ex-Sonic Kevin Durant scored 38 points, Russell Westbrook had 30 points and 12 rebounds and Oklahoma City beat visiting Denver 115-113.
• Monta Ellis scored 24 points to help the host Dallas Mavericks defeat Philadelphia 97-94.
Evan Turner scored 26 points and former Washington Husky Tony Wroten Jr. had 19 points and five steals for the 76ers.
• Stephen Curry scored 22 points, ex-Washington State Cougar Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes had 17 apiece and Golden State won 98-87 at Utah.
• Zach Randolph collected 26 points and 15 rebounds for visiting Memphis in a 106-102 victory over his former team, the Los Angeles Clippers.