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Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012

Trail Blazers stage furious rally, slip past Bobcats in OT

Blazers rally in fourth, edge Bobcats in OT

AP

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — After playing six games in eight days on the East coast, you might think the travel weary Portland Trail Blazers might be ready to run out of steam.

News photo
Another OT win: Damian Lillard flies in for a dunk as Charlotte's Byron Mullens looks on in the second half on Monday night. AP

Hardly.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 13 rebounds, Luke Babbitt hit a pair of clutch 3-pointers and Portland overcame an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 118-112 in overtime Monday.

The Blazers trailed 97-79 with 5:17 left in regulation, but stormed back to tie the score and sent it into overtime on Babbitt's 3 with 22 seconds left.

"We showed a lot of heart and determination," Aldridge said.

To win their second straight game Portland had to find a way to stop Ben Gordon, who set a Bobcats' franchise record with eight 3-pointers and finished with 29 points to eclipse 10,000 for his career.

Damian Lillard scored 24 points and Nicolas Batum added 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Blazers, who finish their seven-game road trip at Indiana on Wednesday.

"We are showing that anything is possible if we crack down and we play defense," Aldridge said. "Down the stretch we were aggressive, hit the board and started trapping off the pick and roll. We had to make Ben Gordon and (Kemba) Walker pass the ball."

Batum opened overtime with a big 3-pointer and the Blazers never trailed again.

Babbitt later added a clutch 3-ball to push the lead to four and Wesley Matthews finished off the Bobcats by hitting 4 of 4 free throws in the final 53 seconds.

Charlotte had a chance to win at the end of regulation but Kemba Walker's drive and fallaway jumper from the baseline didn't fall. The Bobcats wanted to get the ball to Gordon for the last shot, but he was well covered.

Walker penetrated, pump-faked and got a good shot off that didn't go down.

Walker finished with 22 points and seven assists for Charlotte. Byron Mullens added 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Gordon, who is shooting 49 percent from 3-point range this season, began to heat up late in the third quarter and gave the Bobcats a five-point lead to open the fourth.

Charlotte carried the momentum into the final period opening with a flurry, scoring the first 12 points with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist adding six during the stretch and Gordon hitting two more 3s to push the lead to 18.

That's when Blazers coach Terry Stotts told his players during a timeout that "a lot can happen."

"I've been on the other end of this before," Stotts said. "It doesn't happen often. But it does happen. And you have to believe that it's going to happen for you."

Clippers 105, Jazz 104

In Salt Lake City, Blake Griffin scored 30 points, Jamal Crawford added 20 off the bench and Los Angeles defeated Utah to hand the Jazz their first loss at home this season.

Crawford made a pair of free throws late and ex-Clipper Randy Foye countered with a 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds remaining. But Foye's desperation 3 after stealing the ensuing inbounds pass missed its mark.

Mo Williams led the Jazz (9-10) against his former team with 20 points and 12 assists.

Chris Paul added 14 points for Los Angeles, with six in the fourth after the Clippers entered the quarter trailing by 10.

Pistons 89, Cavaliers 79

In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Brandon Knight scored 17 points, Kyle Singler and Tayshaun Prince had 15 apiece and Detroit beat Cleveland for its fifth straight home win.

Detroit is 1-10 on the road but 5-3 at home, and the Pistons have recovered a bit after losing their first eight games of the season.

Hornets 102, Bucks 81

In New Orleans, Ryan Anderson scored 22 points, Robin Lopez added 21 and the Hornets won for only the second time in 11 games.

Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings hit five 3-pointers and finished with 25 points.

Nuggets 113, Raptors 110

In Denver, Corey Brewer scored 19 points, JaVale McGee had 17 points and five blocks, and the hosts withstood a late rally to beat Toronto.

Andrea Bargnani scored 23 points for the Raptors and Kyle Lowry had 24, including 12 in the fourth quarter when Toronto cut a 17-point lead to one with 2:18 left.

Magic 102, Warriors 94

In Oakland, Glen Davis and Arron Afflalo scored 24 points apiece, and Orlando outlasted Golden State for its second straight victory.

A night after an emotional win against former franchise center Dwight Howard and the Los Angeles Lakers, the Magic outscored the Warriors 33-25 to pull away in the fourth quarter. J.J. Redick had 10 of his 22 points in the fourth.

Stephen Curry had 25 points and 11 assists for the Warriors.



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