Hot-shooting Blazers dump Pistons

Kerry Eggers, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts was pleased with his team's offense, displeased with the defense.
Offense won out, though, in Portland's 109-103 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Monday night at the Moda Center.
"Another solid win," said the second-year Portland coach after the Trail Blazers (5-2) earned their third straight win. "We shot the ball well and ultimately made stops when we needed to. It was good to get a win, but it shows we still have room to grow."
Point guard Damian Lillard scored 25 points to lead six Portland players in double figures. Lillard suffered through one of the worst shooting nights of his career Saturday in the Blazers' 96-85 victory over the Kings, making one of 15 shots from the field.
"I didn't shoot the ball well at Sacramento, but I thought I played a good game other than that, and we won," said Lillard, who was 7-for-16 Monday night, including 5-for-8 from 3-point range. "I didn't think about it too much. I took the same shots I've been taking; they just went in."
Point guard Mo Williams came off the bench to contribute a season-high 17 points for the Blazers, sinking his first seven shots from the field. Williams came into the game shooting 37 percent for the season.
"I really wasn't too concerned about it," he said. "I felt all the other aspects of my game have been there. Me shooting the ball, I didn't stress out about it. I didn't get extra shots up. I didn't do those things. I knew it would come, the rhythm of everything."
Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge collected 18 points and 12 rebounds, and center Robin Lopez had a season high in points (17) and matched his season best in rebounds (10).
Point guard Brandon Jennings scored a season-high 28 points to lead Detroit (2-4). Center Andre Drummond (16 points, 16 rebounds) and power forward Greg Monroe (19 points, eight rebounds) also had big games for the Pistons. Reserve guard Rodney Stuckey added 13 points.
Detroit won the points-in-the-paint battle 60-36, but the Blazers enjoyed a great shooting night, firing at a 51.2 percent clip from the field, 47.8 percent from 3-point range and 93.3 percent from the foul line. They won the game at the 3-point arc, making 11 of 23 compared to Detroit's three of 14.
"The difference was the Blazers shot 3s," Detroit coach Maurice Cheeks said. "They have inside and outside presence, but all of their prominent guys shoot 3s, and it happened tonight."
Williams sank two free throws with one second left in the third quarter to take Portland into the final period ahead 83-78. Blazers forward Dorell Wright and Lillard buried back-to-back treys to extend the margin to 89-80 with 10:27 to play. Another Wright 3-pointer made it 98-88 with 6:50 remaining.
When Lopez dunked off a nice feed from small forward Nicolas Batum for a 104-92 advantage with 4:29 to play, the Pistons were in big trouble. Detroit battled back, though, drawing to within 107-103 on a Jennings drive with 1:30 to go.
Neither team scored again until Lillard sank a pair at the line with 12.8 seconds remaining to ice the win.
In the first half, Williams came off the bench to shoot 7-for-7 and score 15 points, helping Portland take a 55-52 lead into the break. Lillard chipped in 14 points, sinking four of four from 3-point range, while Aldridge had 10 points and five rebounds in the half. The Blazers shot 54.8 percent from the field and 57.1 percent (8-for-14) on 3-point tries.
NOTES: Portland F LaMarcus Aldridge failed to reach the 20-point mark for the first time this season. His six-game streak was the Blazers' longest to open the season since Clyde Drexler scored 20 the first 12 games in 1988-89. ... Aldridge became the sixth player in Portland history with 4,000 career rebounds. ... The Blazers' streak of seven consecutive games with eight or more 3-pointers is the club's longest since the advent of the 3-point arc in 1979-80. ... For the first time this season, the Pistons had the services of 6-foot-11 F Charlie Villaneuva, who missed the first five games with a shoulder injury. He finished with two points on 1-for-3 shooting in five minutes. ... Detroit coach Maurice Cheeks was Portland's coach from 2001-05. "I always enjoy coming back," he said. "It's a good place. It's not the Rose Garden anymore (it's the Moda Center), but it's always nice to come back and see folks you haven't seen for a while."

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