Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - LaMarcus Aldridge returned from a seven-game hiatus and looked like he didn't miss a beat. Aldridge, who missed the past couple of weeks due to lingering back issues, scored 25 points with 16 rebounds to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 100-85 win over the Atlanta Hawks. Damian Lillard contributed 21 points and Nicolas Batum netted 12 with seven rebounds for the Blazers, who snapped their three-game losing streak. The Hawks, meanwhile, lost for the fifth straight time and now lead the idle New York Knicks by 1 1/2 games for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta was led by Jeff Teague's 22 points and Elton Brand deposited an 11-point, 12-rebound double-double. Louis Williams finished with 16 points off the bench in the setback.
Final Score: Houston 120, Philadelphia 98
Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia 76ers have taken tanking to a new level. The Sixers tied the NBA record of 26 straight losses with a 120-98 defeat to the Houston Rockets on Thursday. Philadelphia, which hasn't won since a buzzer-beating victory in Boston over the Celtics on Jan. 29, joins the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers as the only two teams to drop 26 in a row. The Sixers can set the NBA record with a loss to the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night.
Final Score: Milwaukee 108, LA Lakers 105
Milwaukee, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Brandon Knight poured in a game-high 30 points to lead Milwaukee to a 108-105 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday. Ramon Sessions netted 22 and Khris Middleton scored 14 for the Bucks, who snapped an eight-game skid. John Henson, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Zaza Pachulia added 10 points apiece, with Henson and Antetokounmpo chipping in seven rebounds each. Jordan Hill scored 28 and brought down 16 rebounds and Nick Young added 17 points for the Lakers, who have lost five of their last seven. Chris Kaman and Jodie Meeks scored 13 and 10, respectively in defeat.
Final Score: LA Clippers 109, Dallas 103
Dallas, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Paul scored 31 points with nine assists to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 109-103 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday. Paul made amends for his shooting struggles in LA's last game, a 98-96 loss at New Orleans, where the point guard shot a career-worst 0- for-12 from the floor. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan each recorded double-doubles for the Clippers, with Griffin scoring 18 points with 13 rebounds and Jordan netting 16 with 15 boards. Los Angeles has now taken seven of its last nine in the series with Dallas, including all three meetings this season. Vince Carter paced Dallas with a season high-tying 23 points off the bench, while Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points with nine rebounds in defeat. Monta Ellis scored 12 points on a paltry 4-for-19 shooting in the Mavericks' third loss over their last five games. With the loss, Dallas fell a half-game behind Phoenix for eighth place in the Western Conference playoff picture.