PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and the Portland Trail Blazers prevented the Los Angeles Lakers from locking up the second seed in the Western Conference with a 93-86 victory on Friday night.
Gerald Wallace had 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Blazers, who led by as many as 24 points.
Kobe Bryant had 24 points in the Lakers’ fourth straight loss.
Ron Artest hit a pair of 3-pointers that pulled the Lakers to 82-73 late. Aldridge made a jumper but Bryant had a pair of layups that narrowed it to 84-77.
Portland answered with Nicolas Batum’s 3-pointer and Gerald Wallace’s layup that extended the Blazers’ lead to 89-77 and all but sealed the win with 1:14 left.
A victory by the Lakers combined with a loss by the Mavericks on Friday would have secured Los Angeles the West’s No. 2 seed.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)