Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/30

Game 1: Sunday, November 30th
Trail Blazers96Final
Game 2: Wednesday, January 7th
Trail Blazers84

Trail Blazers 96

(12-6, 5-6 away)

Pistons 85

(10-6, 5-3 home)

    Coverage: FSDT

    3:00 PM ET, November 30, 2008

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    POR 25 25 20 2696
    DET 13 29 22 2185

    Top Performers

    Por: L. Aldridge 27 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Det: R. Hamilton 18 Pts, 2 Reb, 4 Ast

    Aldridge, Blazers drop Pistons to 6-6 with Iverson in lineup

    Associated Press

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons are starting to look like the Detroit Lions -- they're always a wreck on Sunday.

    For the fourth Sunday in a row, the Pistons played like their hapless NFL counterparts, losing 96-85 to the Portland Trail Blazers.

    Fast Facts

    • The Blazers are 11-3 since starting the season 1-3.

    • Rudy Fernandez has recorded at least one 3-point field goal in all 18 games this season, making him the third rookie over the last 12 seasons to make a 3-pointer in 18 consecutive games.

    • The Pistons are 6-6 with Allen Iverson in the lineup.

    -- ESPN research

    "Other than asking the league not to schedule us for any more Sundays, there's nothing I can do about this," Pistons coach Michael Curry said.

    While the Pistons are 10-2 during the rest of the week, they have been outscored by an average of 17 points while losing all four Sunday games.

    Portland's young starting lineup dominated Detroit's first five, outscoring them 74-52.

    "This was a gritty effort," said Portland coach Nate McMillan. "When you go into Detroit and beat them, it is going to be with a gritty effort."

    LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 27 points, while Brandon Roy added 19 and Greg Oden finished with 10 points and a career-high 13 rebounds in the Blazers' fourth straight win.

    "This is a good win for us, because we've struggled against good teams on the road this year," Roy said. "We had good focus, and we were able to close the game."

    Richard Hamilton had 18 for Detroit, but Allen Iverson finished with only nine on 2-of-9 shooting. The Pistons fell to just 6-6 since Iverson joined the team.

    "This is a difficult situation for us, because it has almost been like a training camp for us since I got here," Iverson said. "I'm sitting more right now than I ever have in my career, and my rhythm isn't there. I'm missing shots that I normally knock down 110 percent of the time, and that's all on me."

    As they have done all season on Sundays, the Pistons got off to a terrible start. Detroit's starters were a combined 1-for-9 in the first quarter, and fell behind by 14 at one point.

    "This game is on our starters," Curry said. "They put us in a hole that we never got out of, and when we put them back in, they didn't do anything great. I'm a basketball coach -- I shouldn't have to be searching for energy."

    Later, Detroit's reserves went on a 10-0 run that helped the Pistons get to 45-42 before Portland scored the final five points of the half. Aldridge had 17 points in the half, 11 more than any Piston.

    Portland threatened to pull away throughout the third, but Detroit was able to keep itself in the game. Hamilton's jumper at the quarter buzzer cut the lead to 70-64.

    Amir Johnson's put-back tied the game with 9:04 left, and Arron Afflalo put them ahead with two free throws on Detroit's next possession.

    Steve Blake, though, answered with a 3-pointer, and Roy's three-point play moved Portland up 85-80 with 5:31 left.

    Roy and Nicolas Batum hit jumpers on the next two possessions, giving Portland a nine-point edge, and the Pistons never seriously threatened again.

    "Before tonight, teams have made runs like that against us and we've given in to the pressure," McMillan said. "Tonight, after Detroit made that run, our guys were calm. They didn't panic. They executed offensively and got the defensive stops we needed."

    Notes: The Pistons have lost as many times since acquiring Iverson as they lost in the rest of the regular season -- 26 games -- after trading for Rasheed Wallace in 2004. ... Tayshaun Prince, who had played at least 30 minutes in every game this season, saw just 22 minutes of action Sunday. "He just wasn't playing well," Curry said.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 96 85
    FGM-FGA 36-69 (.522) 30-69 (.435)
    3PM-3PA 7-17 (.412) 3-12 (.250)
    FTM-FTA 17-23 (.739) 22-27 (.815)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-35 8-29
    Assists 23 20
    Turnovers 13 12
    Steals 4 7
    Blocks 8 4
    Fast Break Points 10 13
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (0/0) 22 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 14 2

    Top Performers

    LaMarcus Aldridge Aldridge
    Points: 27
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1
    Richard Hamilton Hamilton
    Points: 18
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0