Blazers hold 6th spot, lose to Warriors

Blazers hold 6th spot, lose to Warriors


by ANNE M. PETERSON, AP Sports Writer

Posted on April 14, 2010 at 10:52 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 15 at 8:12 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Stephen Curry scored 42 points and the Golden State Warriors finished their season with a 122-116 victory over the playoff-bound Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.

The injury-depleted Trail Blazers finished as the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference and will face the third-seeded Phoenix in the first round. The Suns defeated the Utah Jazz 100-86.

Rookie Jeff Pendergraph led the Blazers with 23 points.

Portland without forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who was hospitalized the night before with a gastrointestinal virus. It is not expected the virus will keep Aldridge out of the playoffs.

Portland guard Brandon Roy, the team's top scorer, missed his second game after doctors discovered he had a torn meniscus in his right knee.

Although he will require surgery, Roy said he would try to play with the injury during the playoffs. Doctors have told him he cannot make the injury worse, but he didn't know if pain would prevent him from being effective.

Roy will likely be evaluated on Friday.

The Warriors head home after the game to a somewhat uncertain future.

Owner Chris Cohan has formally put the franchise up for sale. Coach Don Nelson has said he plans to return next year, the final season on his contract, and general manager Larry Riley said that would be the case barring any unforeseen circumstances. Nelson has said he is committed to developing this young team to pave the way for an easier transition for his successor.

Portland, plagued by injuries this season, started a completely different lineup than it began the season with.

Gone are centers Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla, who both sustained injuries that required season-ending surgery. Forward Nicolas Batum missed the first half of the season after shoulder surgery, and swingman Rudy Fernandez had mid-season back troubles. Roy missed more that a dozen games with a sore hamstring earlier this year, before the meniscus tear was discovered.

In all, 13 Blazers have missed a combined 311 games because of injuries, second only to the Warriors this season.

Portland trailed much of the first quarter until Batum dunked to tie it at 33 going into the second quarter. Fernandez hit a 3-pointer to put Portland ahead 38-35.

The Warriors stayed in it, paced by Monta Ellis' 18 points, to lead 60-58 at the half Fernandez hit a 3-pointer to put Portland up 78-73 in the third quarter, before Pedergraph's dunk and Martell Webster's 3-pointer made it 91-85 heading into the fourth quarter.

But Curry's 3-pointer put Golden State back in front at 98-96, and Ellis' layup made it 108-104 with 5:34 left.

Webster gave Portland back the lead with a layup and a free throw that made it 109-108 with 3:45 left.

Nelson argued at length with the officials after Devean George apparently fouled out -- and the Warriors had no available healthy players. George was eventually allowed to return, but it cost the Warriors a technical.

Curry came back with his 3-pointer that made it 113-110, and after Pendergraph scored for Portland, Curry's baseline jumper made it 115-112 with 1:49 left.

Curry added a pair of free throws with 1:07 to go and the Warriors led the rest of the way.

Notes: Portland players came down from the seats during introductions, part of fan appreciation night. The team wore their "Rip City" white uniforms. The term dates back to the early 1970s, when it became the trademark of broadcaster Bill Schonley. ... Portland has won four straight against the Warriors at the Rose Garden. ... Blazers center Marcus Camby was replaced by Dante Cunningham in the starting lineup just prior to tipoff.