ANNE M. PETERSON
AP Sports Writer
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Wesley Matthews had 28 points, including four 3-pointers, and the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Washington Wizards 116-103 on Thursday night.
Damian Lillard added 23 points and 10 assists for the Blazers, who are still playing without injured All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge. Portland (45-24) remained in fifth place in the Western Conference with three victories in their last four games after a four-game losing streak.
The Wizards (35-33) have lost two straight to open four-game swing against the Western Conference while they vie for a playoff spot in the East to end a five-year absence.
John Wall had 24 points and 14 assists for Washington, which trailed by as many as 17 points in the second half.
Wizards center Marcin Gortat was scratched from the lineup just before the game because of a lower back strain. It was the first game he’s missed this season.
Gortat, who hurt his back during pregame warmups and left the court wincing, is averaging 12.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. In Washington’s 117-111 overtime loss at Sacramento on Tuesday, Gortat had 19 points and 14 rebounds.
The Wizards started Kevin Seraphin in his place.
The Wizards are still without forward Nene, who missed his 12th gram because of a sprained left MCL.
The Blazers jumped out to a 19-14 lead, but the Wizards answered with a 14-4 run to lead 28-23 after the first quarter. Bradley Beal’s layup extended the lead to 35-27.
The Wizards stayed in front, going up 45-39 on former Blazer Martell Webster’s dunk.
But Lillard dunked with less than a minute to go in the half and Robin Lopez added a layup to tie the game at 51. Lillard added a pair of free throws for a 53-51 Blazers lead at the break.
Portland opened the third quarter with an 11-3 run, including 3-pointers from Lillard, Dorell Wright and Matthews, to stretch the lead to 64-53. The Blazers had six 3s in the quarter to head into the final period with an 86-73 lead.
Barton’s pass between the legs of Drew Gooden was snagged by Thomas Robinson for the jam to make it 89-73.
Gooden had 18 points and nine rebounds off the bench for Washington.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Marian Gaborik got the deciding goal in the shootout and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Washington Capitals 2-1 Thursday night to give Darryl Sutter his 500th regular-season victory as an NHL coach.
Jonathan Quick tied Rogie Vachon for the most career victories by a Kings goaltender and stopped Alex Ovechkin, who leads the league with 46 goals, on the Capitals’ second shot in the tiebreaker. Ovechkin is 2 for 15 this season in the tiebreaker and 25 for 83 in his career.
Quick made 21 saves, losing his shutout bid with 7:36 remaining when Joel Ward extended his goal-scoring streak to a career-best four games with his 22nd of the season.
Anze Kopitar scored at 14:09 of the first period for Los Angeles.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.