Final

Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/1

Game 1: Saturday, November 1st
Trail Blazers96Final
Suns107
Game 2: Saturday, November 22nd
Trail Blazers92Final
Suns102
Game 3: Thursday, December 18th
Suns119Final
Trail Blazers124
Game 4: Thursday, March 26th
Suns109Final
Trail Blazers129

Suns 109

(40-32, 16-19 away)

Trail Blazers 129

(45-27, 29-7 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    10:30 PM ET, March 26, 2009

    Moda Center, Portland, OR

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 27 30 22 30109
    POR 29 36 35 29129

    Top Performers

    Phoenix: S. O'Neal 20 Pts, 7 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

    Portland: L. Aldridge 29 Pts, 12 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    Aldridge's season-high 29 power Blazers past red-hot Suns

    Associated Press

    PORTLAND, Ore. -- LaMarcus Aldridge is steadily getting to where he -- and Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan -- believe he can be.

    Aldridge scored a season-high 29 points and added 12 rebounds to help Portland snap the Phoenix Suns' six-game winning streak with a 129-109 victory Thursday night.

    McMillan thinks that Aldridge, who is in his third season, is well on his way to consistent double-doubles. He leads the team with 18 this season.

    2009 NBA Playoffs

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    • Playoff pages

    "He's still learning to take advantage of what he can do, and I think he can be a dominant force on both ends of the floor," McMillan said.

    Aldridge admits it's getting easier.

    "I don't want to jinx myself, but as you play the game longer, you see things better," he said.

    Aldridge and the Blazers are sitting at sixth in the Western Conference, in a tangle of teams jockeying for position behind the leading Los Angeles Lakers.

    Phoenix, making a late push for the playoffs, is ninth in the Western Conference -- 3 1/2 games behind Dallas.

    "We cut ourselves into a deep hole with too many mistakes, and they capitalized on out mistakes," said Shaquille O'Neal, who had 20 points for the Suns. "We left their shooters open way too much and they knocked down the shots. They had a lot of energy."

    Portland led 100-79 after three quarters, following Rudy Fernandez's jumper and buzzer-beating 3-pointer from 25 feet. The Suns sat their starters most of the rest of the way.

    Fernandez came off the bench to score 23 points. The rookie from Spain made a career-high five 3-pointers.

    Brandon Roy added 26 points and nine rebounds for the Blazers, who led by as many as 29 points.

    "It felt good," Roy said. "It was a fun game to play, and it was a fun game to sit on the bench and cheer."

    The Suns were coming off a 118-114 home victory over the Jazz the night before. After scoring 26 points in that game, Hill had just six against Portland.

    The Blazers were coming off a 114-108 overtime loss to Philadelphia on Monday night. Roy was off, with just 12 points, and it hurt Portland. The two-time All-Star shrugged off whatever was bothering him against the Suns, jumping out with nine first-quarter points to set the tone.

    Fast Facts

    • LaMarcus Aldridge had 29 points and 12 rebounds, and Brandon Roy had 26 points and nine rebounds as the Blazers beat the Suns for the second time in a little over three months after losing their 11 previous meetings.

    • The Blazers shot a season-high 60.2 percent from the field.

    • The Suns had their six-game win streak snapped, dropping Phoenix to 3½ games behind Dallas for the eighth playoff spot in the West.

    -- ESPN research

    The matchup between O'Neal and Greg Oden got off to a bad start for the rookie, when O'Neal twirled around him for the basket and the foul.

    But Oden had two key blocks in the second quarter and Portland built a 40-33 lead after Travis Outlaw's dunk. The Blazers led 57-65 at the half.

    Steve Blake's floater put Portland up 71-61 early in the second half, and Aldridge extended it to 87-74 on a fast-break layup.

    Oden's hook shot made it 91-74, capping a 12-4 Portland run.

    "We can't blame tonight on not having our legs," O'Neal said. "We have to fight through it. A lot of teams play back-to-backs, a lot of teams get in late. When we step on the court we have to be ready to play."

    The Suns beat the Blazers twice this season in Phoenix, but lost in Portland on Dec. 18 when Roy took off with a career-high 52 points in a 124-119 victory. It snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Suns.

    Game notes


    French rookie Nicolas Batum, considered questionable before the game because of a sore left ankle, started for the Blazers. ... O'Neal and Joel Przybilla exchanged words late in the second quarter and were handed offsetting technical fouls. ... Fernandez had four 3-pointers in the first half, tying his career high. ... The Suns' playoff push doesn't get any easier with a game at Utah on Saturday. ... Portland's point total was a season high. ... Stromile Swift had a season-high 12 points for the Suns.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    PHX
    POR
    Points 109 129
    FGM-FGA 47-94 (.500) 50-83 (.602)
    3PM-3PA 6-20 (.300) 9-18 (.500)
    FTM-FTA 9-16 (.563) 20-27 (.741)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 17-40 11-39
    Assists 22 30
    Turnovers 15 13
    Steals 5 9
    Blocks 2 10
    Fast Break Points 10 19
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (2/0) 20 (2/0)
    Largest Lead 3 29

    Top Performers

    Phoenix
    Portland
    Shaquille O'Neal O'Neal
    Points: 20
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    LaMarcus Aldridge Aldridge
    Points: 29
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 3