Mon. Final: Blazers 102, Bucks 85
Next game: Wednesay, January 21 vs. Dallas
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Greg Oden had a career-high 24 points and added 15 rebounds in the Portland Trail Blazers' 102-85 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night.
It was Oden's team-high 12th double-double of the season. The 7-foot center, the top pick in the 2007 draft, is playing as a rookie after missing all of last season because of microfracture surgery on his knee.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 22 points and nine rebounds for the Blazers.
Richard Jefferson and Charlie Villanueva had 23 points each for the Bucks, who have lost two straight. Villanueva also had 10 rebounds.
Milwaukee had alternated wins and losses in its previous 13 games -- the franchise's longest streak without consecutive wins or losses. The Bucks were coming off a 101-92 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.
The Bucks were without top rebounder Andrew Bogut, who missed his third straight game because of back spasms. Bogut is averaging 10.4 rebounds a game.
Bogut's absence helped Oden, and the Bucks were forced to go with a smaller lineup when Dan Gadzuric got into foul trouble.
Oden's 15 rebounds tied his career best. He was rewarded by the fans with a standing ovation when he left the game late in the fourth quarter.
Oden has been under pressure this season as the future of the franchise, and it has showed. But on Monday night, he was both aggressive and confident, and he even high-fived fans as he left for the locker room after the game.
The Blazers remained without starting point guard Steve Blake, who injured his right shoulder on the Blazers' road trip. Sergio Rodriguez has been starting in his place.
Portland led by 11 points in the first quarter but the Bucks narrowed it to 31-30 midway through the second on Michael Redd's layup. Milwaukee could not pull closer, and the Blazers led 45-40 at the break.
Portland extended the lead to 68-53 on rookie Jerryd Bayless' 3-pointer in the third quarter.
Milwaukee made a move in the fourth, closing to within 76-71 on Villanueva's 3-pointer. Travis Outlaw answered for the Blazers with a dunk and a free throw, and Portland kept the Bucks at Bay the rest of the way.
The Blazers were playing the first of a three-game homestand, after going 2-2 on an eastern road trip.
Portland was coming off a 102-97 loss at Charlotte on Saturday. The Blazers hit just 16 of 31 free-throw attempts. Against Milwaukee, they hit 24 of 34.
Notes: The Trail Blazers have won their last four against the Bucks. ... The NBA announced earlier Monday that Blazers forward Rudy Fernandez will participate in the slam dunk competition during the All-Star Game festivities. Fernandez, a rookie from Spain, was voted into the competition by fans who voted online. He was up against fellow rookies Russell Westbrook of the Thunder and Joe Alexander of the Bucks.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)