Blazers extend win streak to 10 with chippy victory over Warriors
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)
Wes Matthews had a pretty good seat for Portland's 10th straight win.
It just happened to be in the Trail Blazers' locker room.
One of three players ejected in the third quarter following a scuffle with Golden State, Matthews spent the final 15 minutes watching the game on TV with teammate Mo Williams after both players were tossed.
The two players saw yet another dramatic comeback by one of the biggest surprise teams in the Western Conference.
''That inspired us,'' said Matthews of the altercation that resulted in six technical fouls in addition to the ejections.
''We got better from it, we got stronger from it. Mo and I were continuing to cheer. They couldn't hear us, but we were continuing to cheer.''
One night after rallying from 21 down to beat the Chicago Bulls 98-95, Portland again had to play from behind, but rode a big fourth quarter from Aldridge to keep the winning streak going.
Aldridge made 11 free throws in the fourth quarter to highlight his sixth double-double this season. Matthews had 23 points while Bay Area native Damian Lillard added 20 points and nine assists for the Blazers.
''We rode LaMarcus in the second half,'' Portland coach Terry Stotts said. ''He took it inside, got to the free throw line, made his free throws, offensive rebounds. He did it all and we rode him.''
The Blazers, playing the second half of a back to back, appeared to be tiring late in the third quarter when things got chippy between the teams not long after Matthews was whistled for a technical foul when Aldridge was knocked flat on his back.
Moments later, Portland reserve center Joel Freeland and Golden State's Andrew Bogut then got into a shoving match in front of the Warriors bench.
Aldridge joined the fray, which quickly escalated. At one point, Matthews was stopped after charging toward a group of Golden State players, while Warriors reserve Draymond Green had to be restrained by several teammates and coaches.
''Everybody was sticking up for everybody,'' Stotts said. ''The game was kind of going back-and-forth. I don't know if we had a lot going, but I thought it really brought us together.''
Referees conferred for several minutes following the dust-up and watched replays on a monitor before issuing six technical fouls and three ejections. Matthews and Williams, along with Green, were all tossed.
Golden State, which led 77-63 at the time, couldn't hold on.
''We did not respond once the altercation took place,'' Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. ''We gave them life by not doing what we were doing the entire first half. You have to be able to sustain it. We did not and we paid the price because of it.''
Portland pulled within 84-81 heading into the fourth then went on a 12-2 run to take the lead for good.
Aldridge, who missed six of his first seven shots, scored 15 points over the final 12 minutes while going 11 of 14 from the free throw line.
That was enough to propel the Blazers to their second come-from-behind win in as many nights.
Not even the return of Stephen Curry could prevent Golden State from letting this one get away.
Curry, who had 22 points and 11 assists, returned to the Warriors lineup after missing two games with a concussion. Golden State was still short-handed, however, as Iguodala sat out with a strained left hamstring suffered in Friday's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Blazers got off to another cold start before storming back.
Thompson scored 18 points in the first half and Golden State led 59-47 midway through the second quarter while taking advantage of Lillard's slow start.
Lillard, who grew up about 10 minutes from Oracle Arena, missed his first six shots and didn't score until 10:21 remained in the first half.
Aldridge also struggled with his shot early, but had six points over the final three minutes to help trim the Warriors' halftime lead to 54-49.
Curry made back-to-back 3s in the third quarter and Golden State upped its lead to 77-63 before emotions bubbled over.
''They went on a run and we kind of crumbled,'' said Bogut, who had four points and 12 rebounds. ''They got to every loose ball before us. They had more offensive rebounds. They made us look silly, especially in the fourth quarter.''
Klay Thompson scored 30 points for Golden State. The Warriors, who played without the injured Andre Iguodala, have lost three straight.
Notes: Portland is tied with San Antonio for the longest active winning streak in the NBA. ... The Warriors are 5-2 at home this season ... Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch and professional poker player Phil Hellmuth were among those in attendance at courtside.