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Trail Blazers snap 6-game losing streak
Monday, Dec 6, 2010

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)—A visit from the lowly Los Angeles Clippers turned out to be just what the Portland Trail Blazers needed.

Wesley Matthews(notes) had 26 points and the Blazers snapped a six-game losing streak with a 100-91 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night.

Brandon Roy(notes) added 14 points, Nicolas Batum(notes) had 13 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, and Marcus Camby(notes) finished with 12 points and a season-high 19 rebounds for the Trail Blazers.

The six-game losing streak was Portland’s longest since it dropped the final eight games of the 2005-06 season. Even so, the Blazers almost blew it, letting the Clippers cut a 22-point lead to three.

The Clippers trailed 59-37 at halftime but Rasual Butler(notes) hit two 3-pointers to cut it to 92-89 with 1:29 left. With under a minute left, the Clippers had a fast break with the chance to cut into the lead or tie, but Andre Miller(notes) ripped the ball away from Ryan Gomes(notes).

After a foul, Miller made two free throws and the Blazers led 96-91 with 30 seconds left. Gordon turned the ball over and Batum hit two free throws on the other end to put the game away.

The Blazers improved to 9-11.

“I don’t think teams are afraid of us yet,” Matthews said. “There are certain teams, Boston and teams like that where if you get down on them, other teams deflate. Other teams aren’t doing that with us.”

Matthews, signed as a free agent from Utah in the offseason, started in place of Batum at small forward for the fourth straight game and has scored 23 or more in four of the last five games. His production Sunday was crucial for the Blazers with leading scorers Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge(notes) going a combined 5 of 23 from the field.

Eric Gordon(notes) led the Clippers, 0-10 on the road, with 24 points. Blake Griffin(notes) had 21 points and 15 rebounds, his eighth straight double-double. The rookie forward also stifled Aldridge, who had just four points and five rebounds before fouling out. Baron Davis(notes) had 14 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

The Clippers (4-17) have the worst record in the NBA, but had been playing better of late, with three wins, including over New Orleans and San Antonio, in their last seven games.

“We’re right there,” Gordon said. “We’ve been in this situation many times, where it’s coming down close at the end of games. We just have to finish them off.”

As the game got closer, it became chippy. At the end of third, Brian Cook(notes) picked up a flagrant-2 foul and was ejected after shoving Joel Przybilla(notes) in the chest as Przybilla went up for a layup. That led to a brief skirmish in which Davis, Przybilla, Batum and Craig Smith(notes) picked up technical fouls.

Smith was kicked out with 8:17 left in the game after picking up another technical when he tried to go after Rudy Fernandez(notes) and had to be restrained by former Clippers teammate Camby.

Less then a minute later, Camby shoved Griffin to the floor, sending the former Oklahoma star skidding out of bounds, but apparently out of the sight of the officials. The next play, Camby went after Griffin again, picking up a flagrant-1 for a hard foul as Griffin went up to the rim.

“It was like a playoff atmosphere,” Camby said. “It felt like a game in May.”

NOTES: G Randy Foye(notes) sat out his fourth straight game with a strained hamstring for the Clippers… The Clippers made just 26 of 43 free throws. … Portland allowed a season-low 15 points in the first quarter.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 LA Clippers
B. Griffin Blake Griffin
7-14,  21 Pts
15 Rebs, 2 Assists
 Portland
M. Camby Marcus Camby
4-7,  12 Pts
19 Rebs, 3 Assists

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Rebounds
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Sunday, Dec 5