PORTLAND, Ore. — LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points and 12 rebounds, and the Portland Trail Blazers snapped the New Orleans Pelicans’ four-game winning streak with a 99-90 victory Saturday night.
Kris Kaman added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Blazers, who have clinched the Northwest Division and are jockeying for home-court advantage among the Western Conference playoff teams.
Eric Gordon had 22 points for the Pelicans, who fell to a game back of Oklahoma City for eighth place and the final playoff spot in the West.
With both teams grappling for the lead, the Blazers pulled in front 88-85 on Nicolas Batum’s 3-pointer with 3:59 left. Damian Lillard was fouled on a 3-point attempt and made all of his shots to push the lead to 91-85.
Aldridge dunked to make it 95-85 with 2:18 left, and New Orleans couldn’t catch up.
Both teams also played the night before. The Pelicans (41-35) defeated the Kings 101-95 in Sacramento, pulling within a half-game of the Thunder. New Orleans owns the tiebreaker over Oklahoma City for the spot.
The Thunder play Sunday against visiting Houston.
Portland defeated the Lakers 107-77 in Los Angeles on Friday night, clinching the division for the first time since claiming a share of the title in the 2008-09 season.
Portland (50-26) is locked in a battle with the Clippers and the Rockets for home-court advantage in the playoffs. The four teams with the best records in the Western Conference get home court.
The Blazers have won five straight overall and eight straight at home against the Pelicans. New Orleans hasn’t won in Portland since 2010.
The Pelicans jumped out to a 14-4 lead early, but Portland closed the gap to 24-21 going into the second quarter. Consecutive baskets from Robin Lopez and Steve Blake put Portland in front, and the Blazers extended the lead to 41-34 after Meyers Leonard’s 3-pointer.
Portland led by as many as 13 points en route to a 56-64 lead at the half.
Trailing 65-52, the Pelicans took off on an 18-4 run to go ahead 70-69, capped by Gordon’s 3-pointer.
Portland regained the lead, pulling in front 75-72 to start the fourth quarter. But the Pelicans pushed back, going ahead 81-77 on Ryan Anderson’s 3-pointer with 8:23 left in the game.