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Blazers cruise in preseason opener

ONTARIO, Calif. — The Trail Blazers couldn’t have gotten off to a better start in the preseason.

Portland broke things open after a 44-44 halftime tie to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 93-75 Wednesday night in its exhibition opener.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Blazers, who got impressive performances from rookies Damian Lillard and Meyers Leonard.

Lillard contributed 14 points and seven assists, and Leonard came off the bench for 10 points and five rebounds, making all four of his shots from the field.

The Lakers were without injured stars Dwight Howard, who will miss the entire preseason following back surgery, and Kobe Bryant, ruled out of the game with a shoulder injury.