PORTLAND, Ore. — Guard Wesley Matthews scored 26 points, including a 3-pointer that put the Portland Trail Blazers ahead for good in a 120-115 overtime victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night at the Moda Center.
Guard Mo Williams scored a season-high 23 points and forward Nicolas Batum collected 21 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for the Trail Blazers (44-24), who won for only the second time in seven games. Guard Damian Lillard scored 15 of his 20 points after the third quarter for the Blazers.
Guard Brandon Knight scored 24 points and guard Ramon Sessions came off the bench for 23 points for the Bucks (13-55), who lost their fifth straight game and eight in their last nine outings.
Matthews’ three-point play gave Portland a 105-103 lead with 2:29 left in the extra session. Matthews’ steal led to a fast-break dunk by guard Damian Lillard and a 107-103 advantage seconds later.
When Lillard made a pair of free throws for a 114-107 lead with 25.2 seconds left and the Blazers closed out the win with six more foul shots down the stretch.
Milwaukee missed 4 of 8 free throws over the final 1:42 of regulation to help Portland extend the game to overtime.
Down by five at halftime, the Bucks tied it at 60 with 7:30 left in the third quarter, and they grabbed a 71-67 lead late in the quarter. The Blazers closed with an 8-1 run to carry a 75-72 advantage into the final period.
The lead went back and forth through the fourth quarter, Portland going ahead 93-92 on a pair of Matthews free throws with about three minutes left.
Lillard hit a floating 3-pointer to up the Blazers’ lead to 96-92, and Knight made one of two at the line to make it 96-93 with 1:42 remaining. Knight again made one of two, and forward Ersan Ilyasova’s rebound basket tied it at 96 with 48 seconds to play.
Portland center Robin Lopez scored on a tip-in with 34.5 seconds to go, but the play was disallowed for basket interference.
Sessions sank one of two free throws to give the Bucks a 97-96 edge with 18.8 seconds remaining.
After a timeout, Lillard missed a reverse layup, Lopez missed a tip, and Sessions was fouled with 10.6 seconds left, making one of two gift shots to push the margin to 98-96.
After another timeout, the Blazers went to Lillard again, and his layup curled over the rim and went through to tie the score at 98-98 with 4.9 ticks left.
Sessions’ 20-foot jump shot bounced off the rim as time expired, and it was on to overtime.
Milwaukee ruled the early going, jumping to an 18-11 lead midway through the first quarter. Portland, with Batum leading the way, rallied to tie the count at 24-24 but the Bucks took a 29-26 lead into the second quarter.
The Blazers, behind Williams and Robinson, gained the advantage and went ahead 50-42 late in the second period. Center Robin Lopez’s rebound dunk at the buzzer sent the Blazers into intermission with a 52-47 advantage.
NOTES: Both teams came in hungry for a win. The Bucks carried the NBA’s worst record, as they dropped their previous four games and seven of eight. The Blazers lost five of their previous six games. … Portland F LaMarcus Aldridge missed his third consecutive game due to a sore back, and coach Terry Stotts called him doubtful for Thursday’s home date with the Washington Wizards. … Bucks F Ersan Ilyasova, who sat out Sunday’s game due to a chronic sore ankle, started Tuesday. The Bucks will not play Ilyasova in the second of back-to-back games the rest of the season. … Milwaukee coach Larry Drew plans to stay with his three-guard rotation, starting Brandon Knight and Nate Wolters and bringing Ramon Sessions off the bench. O.J. Mayo, who sat out the previous four games, is the odd man out. “O.J. got really sick and never got his conditioning back,” Drew said.
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