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Aldridge helps Trail Blazers win opener

Tue., Dec. 27, 2011, midnight

NBA: LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and seven rebounds and the Portland Trail Blazers opened their season with a 107-103 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night in Portland.

Gerald Wallace added 21 points and nine rebounds for the Blazers, who let an early lead slip away but regained the upper hand in the second half by going small and picking up the pace. Wesley Mathews added 16 points.

Lou Williams scored 25 to lead the Sixers, who open with a five-game road trip.

• Kings top Lakers: Marcus Thornton scored 12 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and the Sacramento Kings opened the season in grand fashion, beating the Los Angeles Lakers at home for the first time in more than three years, 100-91.

Kobe Bryant scored 29 points and Metta World Peace added 19 for the Lakers, who opened the season with consecutive losses for the first time since 2002-03, putting a damper on the start of new coach Mike Brown’s tenure.

• Hornets nip Suns: Eric Gordon made a 20-footer from the top of the key with 4.2 seconds to play in his New Orleans debut to give the Hornets an 85-84 victory over the Phoenix Suns in their season opener in Phoenix.

Gordon, who came to New Orleans in the trade that sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers, gave his team its only lead since the first two minutes of the second half.

• Spurs get revenge on Grizzlies: Manu Ginobili scored 24 points and the San Antonio Spurs got some payback after their stunning playoff collapse against Memphis last season, beating the Grizzlies 95-82 in San Antonio.

San Antonio began what could be Tim Duncan’s final season with a satisfying win after Memphis upset the 61-win Spurs in the first round last season. Tony Parker added 15 points and seven assists.

• Irving struggles in Cavaliers’ loss: Rookie Kyrie Irving scored six points and hardly played like the No. 1 overall pick as the Toronto Raptors spoiled the Cleveland guard’s NBA debut with a 104-96 season-opening win over the Cavaliers in Cleveland.

• Rookie Walker sparks Bobcats: D.J. Augustin scored 19 points, rookie Kemba Walker added 13, including two free throws with 9.9 seconds remaining, and the Charlotte Bobcats erased a 14-point deficit to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 96-95 in their season opener in Charlotte, N.C.

Red-hot Rangers blank Islanders

Hockey: Carl Hagelin scored twice and Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 28 shots he faced as the New York Rangers beat the visiting New York Islanders 3-0 for their fifth straight victory.

• Avalanche end long road skid: Jan Hejda scored the go-ahead goal at 10:20 of the third period and the Colorado Avalanche snapped a nine-game road losing skid, beating the Minnesota Wild 4-2 in St. Paul, Minn.

• Kings break out of scoring slump: Willie Mitchell scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period, and the Los Angeles Kings broke their offensive slump to beat the Phoenix Coyotes 4-3 in Los Angeles.

It was the first time L.A. scored at least three goals in its last 15 games.

• U.S., Canada win: Charlie Coyle had a hat trick, Kyle Rau added two goals and the United States dominated Denmark 11-3 in Edmonton, Alberta, to open the world junior men’s hockey championship.

Also in Edmonton, Mark Stone had a hat trick to lead Canada to an 8-1 win over Finland.

In Calgary, Sweden defeated Latvia 9-4 and Russia blanked Switzerland 3-0.

Syracuse tops poll for 3rd straight week

College basketball: With Syracuse No. 1 for a third straight week, the top seven teams remain the same in the AP Top 25 men’s poll.

Gonzaga is just outside the poll in 29th.

• Baylor women remain unanimous: Baylor is still the unanimous choice as the No. 1 team in the AP women’s poll as the first five teams remained unchanged.

Gonzaga is just outside the poll, tied for 26th with Virginia.

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