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Blazers win 11 of last 15 games

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- After a win against the Los Angeles Lakers
at the Staples Center, the Portland Trail Blazers knew they
couldn't drop one at home against the Golden State Warriors.

Especially with the playoffs looming.

The Blazers led the Warriors by 13 points, then fell behind in
the fourth quarter, before rallying to beat the Warriors 87-81
Wednesday night.

"We didn't give up," forward Zach Randolph said. "We know all
these games are important to us."

Randolph had 20 points and Darius Miles had 21 for the Blazers,
who have won 11 of their last 15 games. Portland moved into a
three-way tie for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western
Conference with the Denver Nuggets -- who beat Phoenix 111-96 -- and
Utah.

"You've got to give those guys credit for coming out and doing
what they needed to do to keep in the race," said Clifford
Robinson, who led Golden State with 23 points.

The Warriors have already been eliminated from playoff
contention for the 11th straight season. But it was an inconsistent
performance by the Blazers, who had defeated the Lakers the night
before.

Golden State trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half,
but Speedy Claxton's layup narrowed the deficit to 66-64 early in
the fourth quarter. Robinson added his own layup and was fouled to
put Golden State ahead 67-66.

After a timeout, Robinson hit another layup, but Ruben
Patterson's layup and foul shot pulled the Blazers into a tie at
69-all. Miles' jumper gave the lead back to the Blazers.

Both teams wrestled with the lead until Randolph hit a pair of
free throws then followed with a hook shot to make it 81-77. Theo
Ratliff blocked Calbert Cheaney's shot on the other end, and
Patterson grabbed the ball and ran it back alone for a fast-break
dunk.

Ratliff finished with four points, 13 rebounds and eight blocked
shots.

"It's a great feeling being in this playoff race right now,"
Ratliff said. "Every game is a playoff game for us and we've got
to come out focused every time we step on the floor."

It's just going to get tougher for Portland, which has not
missed the playoffs since 1982. The Blazers play at San Antonio on
Friday and at Denver on Saturday before returning home to wrap up
the season against the Spurs and the Lakers.

The Blazers had an authoritative 91-80 victory over the Lakers
on Tuesday night. But they came out cold against Golden State.

Although they went on an 11-2 run in the first quarter to take a
15-10 lead, the Blazers finished the period with the game tied at
18.

Portland picked it up before the half, going on a 15-4 run
capped by Miles' layup to go ahead 37-24.

The Blazers led 44-32 at the break after Patterson's 3-pointer.

The Warriors were also playing the second of back-to-back games
after beating the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.

"There's still a lot of self-pride on this team," Claxton
said. "We don't want to just roll over and let everybody beat us.
We're still going to come out and play hard. The best team will
win."

Game notes
The Blazers honored former No. 22 Clyde Drexler with a
video tribute in the first quarter. "The Glide," who led Portland
to the NBA Finals in 1990 and '92, was added to the Basketball Hall
of Fame this week. He will be inducted Sept. 10 in Springfield. ...
The Warriors' 32 first-half points tied for the fewest the Blazers
had allowed all season. ... The Blazers were outrebounded 49-36 by
the Warriors.

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