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Nets rout Blazers behind Evans' career night

The SportsXchange

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Brooklyn Nets had just about everything going Wednesday night at the Rose Garden, but nothing better than Reggie Evans.

The veteran power forward matched his career high with 22 points and grabbed a career-high 26 rebounds as the Nets blew away the Portland Trail Blazers 111-93.

"Reggie's an animal," said center Brook Lopez, who scored a game-high 28 points, helping the Nets win for the fourth time in five stops in their eight-game road trip. "And when he is playing the way he has the past however many games, he makes us a much better team."

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 24 points on 11-for-14 shooting for the Trail Blazers, who fell behind 16-4 at the game's onset and trailed by as many as 30 points. Rookie point guard Damian Lillard scored all 15 of his points in the second half but made only four of 12 shots from the field.

"The guys executed really well," Brooklyn coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "Reggie was absurd. A lot of guys played well for us. That's a very good win."

Both teams emptied the bench after Brooklyn took a 95-69 lead into the fourth quarter. With reserves playing out the game, Portland used an 18-6 run to cut the Nets' lead to 101-87 with 5:59 remaining, and Carlesimo was forced to reinsert his starters.

The Nets (42-29) restored order by scoring six points in a row to put the game on ice.

"Other than watching the reserves play in the fourth quarter," Portland coach Terry Stotts said, "it was a long night."

Brooklyn used a huge advantage in rebounds (54-40) and points in the paint (74-38) to overpower the Blazers.

"That was the story of the game," said Portland center J.J. Hickson, who finished with eight points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes. "It's hard to beat a team when they put up numbers like that."

Evans was the major presence on the boards, sinking nine of 13 shots and grabbing 12 of his boards off the offensive glass.

"He had three offensive rebounds in the first two minutes of the game," Stotts said. "When everybody knows that's what he does, (then) that has to be a (defensive) focus -- I mean, we didn't do much to take that away."

Evans said, "My numbers don't mean anything if we don't get the win. I'm happy with my performance tonight. I wanted to be aggressive from the start, and it just carried over."

The Nets had their way with Portland (33-38) in rolling to a 64-41 halftime lead -- the most first-half points scored by a Blazers opponent all season.

Lopez scored 17 points and Evans had 11 points and 14 rebounds by intermission for Brooklyn. Before the break, the Nets shot 55.1 percent, outrebounded Portland 29-13 and held a 42-20 points-in-the-paint edge.

Aldridge put up 18 points by halftime, but he had far too little help from his teammates.

Brooklyn put together a near-perfect first quarter, shooting 56 percent and outrebounding Portland 18-3 to take a 37-17 lead into the second period. Evans had nine points and 10 rebounds in the quarter.

NOTES: Lillard, who entered the game with a 19.1-point average, was scoreless on 0-for-5 shooting in the first half. ... At one point early in the second quarter, the rebounding disparity was 21-3 ... The Nets were without shooting guard Joe Johnson (quad) for the second straight game. Veteran Keith Bogans took his spot in the starting lineup. Johnson shouldn't be too far away from his return. "Joe is literally day-to-day," Carlesimo said. "It wouldn't surprise me if he could play Friday and Saturday. It wouldn't surprise me if he played in neither, though. We'll just have to see." ... Portland reserve forward Victor Claver returned after missing nine games with a sprained ankle, scoring two points in eight minutes off the bench. ... Brooklyn is 19-3 in games in which it scores 100 or more points. ... The Nets play Friday at Denver, while the Blazers play host to the Utah Jazz the same night.
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