Blazers down Clippers, but Roy wonders about his future

PORTLAND — Marcus Camby was on the Trail Blazers’ bench.

Brandon Roy was back in Portland’s lineup.

And the Blazers returned to their winning ways.

Led by a career high-tying 28 points from Martell Webster, Portland defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 109-87 Tuesday evening at the Rose Garden before a sold-out crowd of 20,265.

The contest marked the Blazers’ first game since the NBA All-Star break, and first contest in six days.

“It was a good game coming off the break, and executing defensively as well as offensively,” Portland coach Nate McMillan said. “It’s always nice to see these guys knock down shots.”

LaMarcus Aldridge added 22 points and a team-high nine rebounds for the Blazers (32-24), who shot 55.6 percent (10 of 18) behind the 3-point line.

Webster did the most damage, knocking down a career-high 7 of his 11 3-point attempts while shooting 9 of 11 from the field.

But he also displayed newer skills, and he spent the second half dismantling the Clippers by mixing steals with quick, powerful lane drives.

Webster said he is changing his entire approach for the second half of the season, using defense to inspire offense.

“It started yesterday, really,” Webster said. “Me and shooting coach (John Townsend) got up 500 makes.”

It was a long, busy day for Portland and Los Angeles.

The Blazers acquired Camby on Tuesday morning by trading longtime Rip City members Steve Blake and Travis Outlaw to the Clippers.

“It was a good move,” McMillan said. “We needed a center; we lost both of ours.”

Aldridge, who will likely benefit most from the acquisition of Camby, continued to show off a refined game.
Adding strong low-post moves to a soft outside touch, he dominated the first quarter and pushed Portland to a 45-30 lead.

Thanks to Roy’s strained right hamstring, though, it was not all good news for the Blazers.

Roy was a late addition to Portland’s starting lineup. After battling with an injury that had forced him to miss 12 consecutive games and 14 of the Blazers’ last 15 contests, Roy was cleared for action about 35 minutes before tipoff via a consensus decision between him and McMillan.

But the three-time All-Star never looked comfortable, running the court with a slight hitch in his stride. He finished with four points on 2-of-7 shooting in 15 minutes.

Roy said his hamstring felt OK in the first quarter, but severely worsened in the second. He stated that he is doubtful for Friday’s game against Boston.

Making matters worse, Roy said that he has begun to wonder whether he will be able to play injury free — or even at all — this season if his hamstring problems continue. Roy has yet to bring up the issue with trainer Jay Jensen or McMillan, though.

“It’s just something that’s in my mind,” Roy said. “Because I’ve been dealing with this since (early January).”

Eric Gordon topped the Clippers (21-32) with 20 points. Los Angeles shot just 53 percent (8 of 15) from the free throw line and committed 21 turnovers.

“My only issue tonight was our total lack of taking care of the ball,” Clippers coach Kim Hughes said.

Camby was introduced to the crowd midway through the first quarter. He received a loud ovation, with most of those in attendance standing up and applauding. … New Orleans Saints cornerback Tracy Porter, whose fourth-quarter interception of Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning sealed the Saints’ first-ever Super Bowl victory, was in the stands. … Portland set a season high with 15 steals.

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