Blazers finally lose one in overtime
DENVER The Trail Blazers string of late-game magic seems to have run its course, at least for now.
Wilson Chandlers 3-point basket broke a tie with 14.9 seconds left in overtime, propelling Denver to a 115-111 victory over Portland Tuesday night at the Pepsi Center.
It was the sixth straight victory and the 13th in 17 games for the Nuggets (24-16), who led most of the second half but couldnt put away the Blazers until the closing seconds of overtime.
It was the third straight loss for Portland (20-18), which got 28 points, eight rebounds and six assists from LaMarcus Aldridge.
The Blazers entered the night 5-0 in overtime games. They have lost three straight games by six points or fewer, dropping their record to 11-5 in such contests this season.
Portland led 57-54 at the half, but Denver seized the advantage early in the third quarter and held it through most of regulation play. The Nuggets led 97-90 with 2:30 to go, but the Blazers stormed back, Wesley Matthews 3-point shot equalling the count at 99-99 with 32 seconds remaining.
After a Denver miss and a Portland rebound, Damian Lillard wound up with an awkward 17-footer that missed as time expired, and it was on to overtime.
J.J. Hickson hit a pair at the foul line to give Portland a 107-106 lead with 1:31 left in the extra session, its first advantage since early in the third quarter. Danilo Gallinari answered with a 3 that pushed Denver in front 109-107, but Aldridge sank a 10-footer to make it 109-109 with 51 seconds left.
Javale McGee dunked off a lob pass to give the Nuggets a 111-109 edge, but Aldridge matched that with two free throws and it was 111-111 with 32 seconds to go.
Chandlers 3 gave Denver the lead for good, and after a Portland timeout, the Nuggets defended well at the 3-point line. Lillards forced trey attempt wasnt close and the Blazers bid was finished.
NOTES Portlands next action is Wednesday night at home against Cleveland. ... Nicolas Batum had another big game with 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. ... Hickson collected 19 points on 7-for-8 shooting to go with 13 rebounds, his 21st double-double of the season. ... Lillard contributed 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists but made only 6 of 15 shots from the field. ... Wesley Matthews scored 14 points. ... Gallinari led the Nuggets with 25 points while Ty Lawson had 24 points and 12 assists and Kenneth Faried chipped in 21 points and 11 rebounds. ... Denver had a huge advantage in points in the paint (68-48), fast-break points (22-7) and bench points (28-12). ... Portland had 19 turnovers to 10 for Denver. ... The Blazers shot .477 from the field but were only 8 for 27 (.296) from 3-point range. ... Aldridge, Batum, Lillard and Matthews all played at least 42 minutes.