Monster rally lifts Blazers past Bobcats
CHARLOTTE, N.C. With little more than five minutes remaining Monday night in Time Warner Cable Arena, the Trail Blazers were down and pretty much out.
Then they staged one of the biggest comebacks in franchise history, rallying from an 18-point deficit to beat Charlotte 118-112 in overtime.
It was the second straight victory after four losses for Portland (8-10), which ends its seven-game road trip Wednesday at Indiana.
Trailing 97-79 with 5:10 to go, the Trail Blazers closed the fourth quarter with a 23-5 run to force overtime.
Luke Babbitts 3-pointer with 22.8 seconds left in regulation tied the score at 102-102. After a timeout, Charlottes Kemba Walker missed a short baseline jumper and it was on to overtime.
Nicolas Batums 3-pointer gave Portland a 105-102 lead it never relinquished in overtime. Babbitt hit another three and Wesley Matthews drained four straight free throws in the extra session.
LaMarcus Aldridge collected 25 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots to lead Portland. Damian Lillard contributed 24 points and nine assists for the Blazers.
Ben Gordon came off the bench for 29 points for Charlotte (7-7).
After Charlotte went on an 18-0 run to forge an 87-70 fourth-quarter lead, defeat seemed imminent for the Blazers. Then they began the comeback that provided a shocking final result.
Charlotte got the drop on Portland early, jumping to a 20-6 lead. The Bobcats made 13 of 18 shots in taking a 34-26 advantage into the second quarter.
The Blazers trailed 41-31 when they began to reel in the Bobcats, who led only 54-51 at the half. Charlotte point guard Kemba Walker had 17 points on 7-for-9 shooting with five assists at the break. Matthews scored 12 points and Aldridge added 11 on 5-for-5 shooting for Portland before the break.
Portland took its first lead late in the third quarter and, after a 10-0 run, was in front 61-55. Nolan Smith layup 70-69 with 51 seconds left. Charlotte outscored the visitors 14-5 over the final four minutes of the quarter to go into the fourth period ahead 75-70.
NOTES: It was the second straight overtime win for Portland, which won 118-117 in two extra sessions Saturday in Cleveland. ... Charlotte missed three free throws in overtime. ... Batum had 17 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists and Matthews tallied 19 points with seven rebounds for the Blazers. ... Will Barton seven points on 3-for-5 shooting and Joel Freeland six points on 3-for-4 shooting off the bench for Portland in the first half. ... Gordon converted a four-point play in the third quarter after being fouled by Matthews on a 3-point shot.