7:30 PM ET, November 18, 2013
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
"I think he had one of those flashbacks to when he was in Minnesota and I was coming in as a rookie," Aldridge said.
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Aldridge scored 27 points, Wesley Matthews added 24 and Portland shot 54 percent in a 108-98 victory Monday night that extended its winning streak to seven.
"This team is good. Guys can get going," Aldridge said.
Damian Lillard finished with 19 points and nine assists as the Trail Blazers withstood the Nets' blistering start to win seven in a row in the same season for the first time since a 13-game run in December 2007.
Portland (9-2) is just a half-game behind San Antonio and Indiana for the NBA's best record. The Blazers will try to complete a perfect 4-0 trip Wednesday at Milwaukee.
Meanwhile, the Nets (3-7) remain one of the NBA's biggest disappointments, shooting 9-of-41 (22 percent) in the second half. Garnett made all six of his shots in Brooklyn's 40-point first period, then went 2-for-13 from there to finish with a season-high 16 points.
"I take the blame for this," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "We got stagnant on the offensive end, so that falls on my shoulders. We came out flat in the third quarter."
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Shaun Livingston scored 23 points for the Nets, who stormed out to their best first quarter of the season and then seemed to run out of gas.
"They're a talented team. They've got Hall of Famers on that team, and we had to throw our first punch, because we felt like they did that to us in that first quarter," Matthews said. "We came at them defensively and ramped it up."
Garnett and Paul Pierce were back in the starting lineup after missing Saturday's loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles with injuries, although Brook Lopez and Deron Williams continued to rest sprained left ankles.
Pierce, who had a sore left groin, played as if he was still hurting, managing just 11 points on 2-for-12 shooting. Neither he nor Garnett spoke to reporters.
"It's been a tough month for us," said Jason Terry, who came with them from Boston. "We're going to stay optimistic, man. We have a great situation here and we're just going to keep building."
Portland turned the game around in the third quarter, limiting the Nets to 3-of-18 shooting and outscoring them 27-12 to take an 83-78 lead. They then opened the fourth with a 12-4 spurt to gain a 95-82 advantage when Mo Williams was credited with a basket on a goaltending call.
Matthews was 5-of-8 from 3-point range, improving to 30-for-57 (52.6 percent) for the season. He kept the Blazers in the game in the first quarter, during which the Nets made 14 of 19 shots for a 40-31 lead.
"What won the game for us was turning it on the last three quarters defensively," Matthews said. "We're not going to outscore teams on a consistent basis and win. We have to practice what we preach, which is defense, and that's what we were able to do tonight."
Garnett, who hadn't been in double figures yet in the Brooklyn black and white, got there in this one by hitting five jumpers in less than three minutes at the start. He took a seat after starting 6-for-6, and then Livingston took over. He made all three of his shots in the period, including a driving, left-handed slam dunk over Robin Lopez that had teammates leaping up off the nearby Nets bench.
But they fell apart in the third, just as they have in all their losses. Brooklyn has won the third quarter in all three victories and been outscored in the period in every loss.
"We were hot. We had momentum. But you can go cold at any time in the game, so that's where we have to make adjustments," Livingston said. "We're all veterans out there on the floor."
Aldridge grabbed eight rebounds, ending his streak of five straight double-doubles. ... The Nets were also without reserve forward Andrei Kirilenko, who continues to be bothered by back spasms. ... Brooklyn's previous high was 33 points in the first quarter at Washington. The Nets also lost that game after a bad third quarter.
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: Shaun Livingston #14 of the Brooklyn Nets calls a play during the first quarter at...(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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MVP: Wesley Matthews shot the lights out at Barclays with a 24-point, 5-for-8 3-point shooting night, leading the way for Portland. He spread the floor with nearly automatic catch-and-shoots while providing strong defense throughout as well.
That was ... predictable. The Nets were without their best two players (Deron Williams and Brook Lopez) and needed a ridiculous hot streak to take the lead early on. The regression was inevitable and made way for a dominant second half for the Blazers.
Defining moment: Shaun Livingston's destructive lefty slam. The dunk encapsulated Livingston's night (23 points on 14 shots) and season in one defiant message: "What knee injury?"
Next 5 Games
The Trail Blazers have won 7 games in a row and are off to a 9-2 start, just a half-game behind the Spurs and Heat for the NBA's best record. How are they doing it? Efficient offense. They're 3rd in the league in offensive rating, in the top 5 along with 4 other teams who are known for their offense.[+]
Highest Offensive Rating - NBA This Season
The Nets got off to a scorching start, leading the Trail Blazers 40-31 after the 1st quarter. But they shot just 26% from the floor the rest of the game, and didn't even reach 100 points.[+]
Can't Find the Nets - Nets on Monday vs Trail Blazers
Nets: most points in the 1st quarter since March 26, 2008 (42 points vs Pacers). It's the most points allowed by the Blazers in the first quarter since allowing 40 on March 3, 2012 (vs T-Wolves).
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