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Blazers run away from Bobcats, 122-105

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - LaMarcus Aldridge had 23 points and 14 rebounds, and the Portland Trail Blazers handed the Charlotte Bobcats their seventh straight loss with a 122-105 victory on Monday night.

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Nicolas Batum and Damian Lillard each finished with 20 points for the Blazers, who had seven players in double figures and shot nearly 60 percent from the field. Meyers Leonard, Portland's 7-foot rookie center, came off the bench to score a season-high 15 points.

Ramon Sessions had 18 points off the bench for the Bobcats, who have an NBA-low 13 wins this season. Rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 17 points.

The Bobcats were playing the second of a back-to-back and looked like it. They lost 119-83 at Sacramento on Sunday night after the Kings scored 43 points in the third quarter.

The Blazers, still fighting for a spot in the playoffs, won three of four games on their homestand but now head out on the road with games at Memphis, San Antonio and New Orleans. Portland is 3 1/2 games back of Utah for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot, while the Lakers are two games back of the Jazz.

Portland was coming off a 109-94 victory over the short-handed Timberwolves on Saturday.

Batum hit a 3-pointer that gave the Blazers an early 24-16 lead. The Blazers even got fancy, when Batum lobbed the ball up to the backboard and it bounced into the hands of Leonard, who dunked to make it 30-21.

Lillard, who has won the West's rookie of the month honors for four straight months, hit a 3-pointer that put Portland ahead 66-51 late in the first half, and the Blazers went on to lead 68-55 at the break.

It was the most first-half points for Portland this season. The Blazers shot just over 65 percent.

The Blazers maintained a healthy lead throughout the third quarter, but Kidd-Gilchrist got the Bobcats closest when his basket narrowed the deficit to 74-65. Portland led by as many as 17 points in the second half.

Gerald Henderson's dunk pulled Charlotte within 108-96 with 3:12 left in the game, but Lillard answered with a 3-pointer for the Blazers. Portland coach Terry Stotts didn't send most of his starters to the bench until there was just 1:05 left.

Notes: Portland has won five straight against Charlotte at the Rose Garden. ... Atlanta Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers was at the game. Rodgers played at Oregon State. .. A fan in the stands held a sign with Lillard's face and the words ``We couldn't be prouder.'' ... Portland's 122 points were a season high in regulation.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
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