Before the Portland Trail Blazers took the court against the Detroit Pistons, they got a visit from some of team's players of the past.
Clyde Drexler and Jerome Kersey were among those who offered the young Blazers a bit of inspiration before they went out and beat the Pistons 102-94 Tuesday night.
"I want that. I want to be Rip City again," said guard Brandon Roy, recalling a phrase from the Blazers' storied past.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Portland snapped a four-game losing streak at the Rose Garden to Detroit and former Blazer Rasheed Wallace.
The Trail Blazers (4-3) extended their winning streak to four games, all at home, after dropping their first three on the road. Portland was coming off a victory over the Mavericks on Saturday night.
The victory snapped a 13-game losing streak to Dallas.
"We do feel good," Roy said. "It definitely helped our confidence. We beat one of the best teams in the East and one of the best teams in the West."
The Blazers led by seven points in the final quarter, but Detroit narrowed it to 94-91 on Tayshaun Prince's layup with 2:11 to go. Jarrett Jack answered with a layup, and the Blazers pulled away.
Jack and Roy each scored 20 points for Portland.
The Pistons (5-2) had won their last two, including a 107-103 victory in Seattle on Sunday night.
Prince led Detroit with 20 points, while Chauncey Billups added 19.
The last Trail Blazers' win over the Pistons at the Rose Garden was back in March 2003. The Blazers had not won at home against Detroit since Wallace has been with the Pistons.
Wallace was part of the so-called "Jail Blazers" team that became more known for trouble off the court than for success on it. The temperamental forward had a disdain for the media, and often replied to questions with the pat response: "Both teams played hard."
He was booed by the Portland crowd when Detroit's starting lineup was introduced.
Wallace finished with 15 points.
"I could care less about coming back here and winning. I got a bigger picture," Wallace said. "My bigger picture ain't just to come back here and beat them. I'm playing for that hardware. They're worried about making the playoffs and beating me. They can do that. I'm worried about the hardware."
Detroit led by as many as eight points, but the Blazers closed in and took over the lead when Jack's layup made it 39-38.
Portland went up 44-40 on Joel Przybilla's hook, but Wallace's dunk and Billups' layup and free throw put the Pistons back ahead 45-44.
Detroit led 53-50 at the break.
There was a scary moment midway through the third quarter when Billups, driving under the basket, collided hard with Blazers center Channing Frye. It appeared that Billups injured his hip, but he returned after a timeout.
"It's hurting. I'm banged up but hopefully I'll be all right. I think it was a knee or an elbow," said Billups, who had a right hip flexor injury.
The teams traded short-lived leads back and forth in the third quarter. Portland went up 74-71 on Roy's jumper, but Flip Murray hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie it going into the fourth quarter.
The Blazers went ahead 84-80 on Sergio Rodriguez's 3-pointer with 8:36 left. His layup extended the lead to 87-82.
"It was our pressure. Detroit tries to come out and get after you early and establish themselves. We just would not let them do that," Roy said. "I think they ran out of gas in the fourth quarter."
The Blazers honored the team that won the 1990 and 1992 Western Conference championships during a halftime ceremony. That team included Terry Porter, Kersey, Kevin Duckworth, Clifford Robinson and Hall of Famer Drexler. The group addressed the current Blazers earlier Tuesday. Drexler described it as an "informal get-together to tell them we're proud of what they're doing, in the community and on the court." ... Porter is now an assistant coach with the Pistons. ... Detroit forward Antonio McDyess re-aggravated a left shoulder sprain during the game, the team said.
Blazers beat former teammate and Pistons