Portland Trail Blazers begin road trip in Brooklyn

LaMarcus Aldridge is putting off surgery on his injured left thumb in order to keep the Portland Trail Blazers afloat in the Western Conference.

Aldridge is dealing with a torn ligament in his non-shooting hand and will be in action Monday against the Brooklyn Nets in the opener of a four-game road trip at Barclays Center.


The Trail Blazers lost both games Aldridge missed after he went down Jan. 19 in a win over the Sacramento Kings. It was expected that Aldridge would miss 6-8 weeks following surgery. He recorded 26 points and nine rebounds in Saturday's 103-96 triumph over the Washington Wizards.

"I felt OK," said Aldridge. "There were a few moments where I got hit and it was kind of tender but for the most part it was OK."

Damian Lillard scored 20 points with seven assists and Wesley Matthews added 19 points for Portland, which won for the second time in the last seven games and improved to 18-3 against Eastern Conference foes.


The Blazers will also visit Cleveland, Atlanta and Milwaukee on the trek, and are 12-8 away from home this season.

Brooklyn went 1-2 on a recent western road trip and dropped a 108-73 decision to the Utah Jazz Saturday in Salt Lake City.

Jarrett Jack scored 16 points and Mason Plumlee added 11 points. No other Nets player scored in double figures.

The Nets lost for the 10th time in 12 tries and are 6-10 against the West.

"We just need a win, man," said Brooklyn's Mason Plumlee. "Collectively we need to put more into the game effort wise. It's not really a strategic thing anymore, we just need to give more."

Brooklyn will visit red-hot Atlanta Wednesday.

The Blazers defeated the Nets, 97-87, on Nov. 15 in Rip City and were led by Lillard's 28 points and 10 assists. Aldridge did not play in that one for the Blazers and Brook Lopez paced the Nets with 21 points.

Portland has won the last three games in this series.


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