Aldridge shot won't fall, but Blazers do
PHILADELPHIA The Trail Blazers fleeting playoff hopes took a serious hit Monday night at Wells Fargo Center.
LaMarcus Aldridges 12-foot fadeaway jumper bounced off the rim in the final seconds as Philadelphia escaped with a 101-100 win over Portland.
It was the first stop on a five-game road trip for the Blazers (31-35), who entered the day trailing the Los Angeles Lakers by 3 1/2 games for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.
Aldridge scored 32 points and grabbed 14 rebounds and Damian Lillard chipped in 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, but they had too little help.
Jrue Holliday had 27 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Philadelphia (26-40), which also got 18 points and 13 rebounds from Spencer Hawes, 19 points, five assists, four steals and three rebounds from Thaddeus Young and 16 points, eight boards and four assists from Dorell Wright.
Portland rallied from a 14-point third-quarter deficit to take a 92-89 lead with 3 1/2 minutes remaining, but the 76ers responded with an 8-0 run to go ahead 97-92.
The margin was still five points when Aldridge hit a desperation 3-pointer with 17.4 seconds left to make it 99-97.
Holidays two free throws with 13.4 seconds to play put Philly on top 101-97, but Lillard sank a 3 with 7.1 seconds left to cut the difference to 101-100, and the 76ers threw away in the in-bounds pass.
After a timeout, Aldridge's jumper over Hawes missed, Wesley Matthews rebound tip didnt go, the horn sounded and the Blazers were losers.
Aldridge was unconscious early, making 7 of his first 8 shots and scoring 16 points in first quarter. Even so, Portland trailed Philly 32-28 entering the second quarter. The 76ers shot .581 from the field and took a 58-50 lead into intermission as the Blazers shot .500 but committed 11 turnovers.
The Sixers advantage was 78-64 late in the third quarter, but the Blazers went on an 18-4 run that evened the count at 82-82 with 8:15 left. When Luke Babbitt knocked down his second 3-pointer of the fourth quarter, Portland was on top 92-89 with 3:30 remaining. The lead didnt last long.
NOTES Portlands next stop is Tuesday night at Milwaukee. ... Aldridge was 13 for 28 from the field and 5 for 5 from the free-throw line. Lillard was 10 for 20 from the field, including 5 for 7 from 3-point range. The Blazers other starters, Matthews, Nicolas Batum and J.J. Hickson, combined for 19 points on 8-for-26 shooting. ... Portland shot .429 on 3-point attempts (12 for 28) but only .422 overall from the field. ... Portland had four rookies Lillard, Meyers Leonard, Joel Freeland and Will Barton on the floor together for a few minutes in the second quarter. ... the Sixers entered the day 3-13 in their last 16 games, but had beaten Brooklyn and Indiana and lost a four-point decision to Miami in their three previous outings.