NBA News Wire
Trail Blazers 106, Raptors 103
PORTLAND, Ore. — Guard Damian Lillard’s basket with 11.8 seconds remaining lifted the Portland Trail Blazers to a 106-103 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night at the Moda Center.
The basket helped the Trail Blazers (34-13) stave off a torrid late rally by the Raptors, who trailed by 16 points in the fourth quarter only to take the lead in the closing seconds.
Forward LaMarcus Aldridge scored 27 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for Portland, which snapped a two-game losing streak. Lillard and guard Wesley Matthews each scored 21 points.
Guard DeMar DeRozan scored 30 of his game-high 36 points in the second half and had 12 assists for the Raptors (25-22), playing the second of back-to-back games after a 90-80 win at Denver on Friday night. Toronto guard Kyle Lowry added 23 points and eight assists.
Held to six points in the first half, DeRozan cracked it up with 16 points in the third quarter as the Raptors closed a 69-50 deficit to 75-70 with a 20-6 run. Portland led 83-74 going into the fourth quarter and increased the lead to 93-77 early in the fourth. Toronto stormed back, though, closing to 102-101 on a Lowry 3-pointer with 2:52 remaining.
Neither team scored again until Lowry sank two free throws with 25.4 seconds to go to give the Raptors a 103-102 lead.
Lillard sank a running bank shot from the right side with 11.8 seconds left to pull Portland back on top 104-103. After a timeout, DeRozan turned the ball over and Portland forward Nicolas Batum made two free throws with .1 of a second left for the final margin.
Aldridge had 18 points and 11 rebounds and Lillard added 15 points — 12 in the second quarter — to stake Portland to a 17-point lead at the half. Lowry had 12 points for the Raptors, who shot only 35 percent from the field and were outrebounded 28-19 through the break.
Portland jumped to a 13-point first-quarter lead as Toronto and settled for a 31-19 lead at quarter’s end. Aldridge had already secured his 30th double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds, though he was only 4 of 11 from the field.
The Blazers increased their advantage to 41-24 midway through the second quarter, but the Raptors used a 10-2 run to cut the margin to 43-34. The Blazers outscored the visitors 14-6 the rest of the half to go into intermission ahead 57-40.
NOTES: Toronto entered the game having won three in a row and nine of 13. … After playing nine games in 14 days, Portland had three days off after a 98-81 loss to Memphis on Tuesday. …The Blazers, who lead the league in scoring (108.4), were drilled by Golden State (103-88) and Memphis (98-81) in their last two outings. In those two games, they had their biggest margins of defeat, their lowest scoring outputs and their worst shooting nights (33.7 and 34.5 percent) of the season. … Toronto G Kyle Lowry has been spectacular of late. In a win over Philadelphia on Jan. 24, Lowry had a triple-double (18 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds). He has exceeded 30 points in his last two outings. “Kyle has been a great leader for us in a lot of areas,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. “He didn’t get voted to be an All-Star, but he has played like one.” … In their last meeting at Toronto on Nov. 17, the Blazers won 118-110, making 15 of 32 3-point attempts.
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