Aldridge, Blazers top Pelicans to clinch playoffs
PORTLAND, OR - LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 18 rebounds and the Portland Trail Blazers clinched their first playoff appearance in three seasons with a 100-94 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday night.
Wesley Matthews added 21 points, Damian Lillard 20 and Nicolas Batum had 16 points and 12 rebounds for Portland (50-28). The Blazers are in fifth place in the Western Conference with four games remaining.
Reserve Anthony Morrow had 17 for New Orleans and Anthony Davis had 15 points on 6-of-18 shooting.
Memphis' loss to San Antonio earlier in the evening cleared the way for Portland to clinch. It appeared the Trail Blazers might fumble the chance when New Orleans took a 10-point second quarter lead. But the Blazers blew past the Pelicans with a 25-6 third quarter run and never trailed again.