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Trail Blazers 124, Lakers 112

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LOS ANGELES — Point guard Damian Lillard scored 34 points and dished out eight assists and forward LaMarcus Aldridge added 31 points and 15 rebounds as the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 124-112 on Tuesday night at Staples Center.

Lillard, who hit five 3-pointers, and Aldridge combined for 19 points in the fourth quarter, allowing Portland (49-27) to pull away for its fourth straight win. The Lakers (25-49), losers of three of their last four, lost at home for the first time in three games.

Forward Nicolas Batum finished with 16 points and seven assists for Portland.

Los Angeles guard Nick Young scored a season-high 40 points and forward Kent Bazemore chipped in 17. Forward Chris Kaman scored 12.

The Lakers lost despite the return of center Pau Gasol, point guard Steve Nash and reserve guard Xavier Henry. Gasol was back in the lineup after missing four games with vertigo. Nash missed a game with nerve root irritation in his back, which has plagued him for much of the season, while Henry returned after missing two games with a sore right knee.

Gasol had nine points, four rebounds and seven assists in 28 minutes. Nash scored 10 and handed out 10 assists in 22 minutes and Henry was scoreless in 13 minutes.

Portland led 63-61 at the half despite shooting just 39.6 percent (21-for-53) compared to 52.2 percent (24-for-46) for the Lakers. However, the Blazers hit 16 of 17 free throws to six of eight for Los Angeles. Lillard, who had a dunk over Gasol and 7-foot forward Chris Kaman, scored 18 points before the break, while Aldridge had 15.

Overall, Portland shot 46.5 percent (49-for-99) from the floor. Los Angeles managed 44.6 percent (41-for-92) shooting.

The Blazers pushed the margin to double digits in the third before taking a 91-83 lead into the fourth quarter. They blew the game open in the final period.

NOTES: The Lakers went with a bigger lineup, starting 7-foot F Chris Kaman and 7-foot C Pau Gasol together for only the fourth time this season. With F Kent Bazemore, G Jodie Meeks and G Kendall Marshall in the mix, the Lakers fielded their 33rd different starting lineup. … The clubs split the previous two meetings, with the road team winning each one. Los Angeles claimed a 107-106 win on March 3 when F Wesley Johnson scored on an alley-oop with 6.9 seconds remaining. … Portland begins a three-game homestand Friday against the Phoenix Suns. Five of the Blazers’ six remaining games are at home. The only road contest is April 11 against the Utah Jazz. … The Lakers travel to Sacramento to face the Kings on Wednesday before playing the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center on Friday.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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