Page last updated on Wed Nov 26 23:12:20 EST 2014
12/03/2012 11:17 PM EST
Blazers storm back to beat Bobcats 118-112 in OT
PORTLAND 118, CHARLOTTE 112 (OT)
By STEVE REED
AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- After playing six games in eight days on
the East coast, you might think the travel weary Portland Trail
Blazers might be ready to run out of steam.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 13 rebounds, Luke Babbitt
hit a pair of clutch 3-pointers and Portland overcame an
18-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Charlotte Bobcats
118-112 in overtime Monday night.
The Blazers trailed 97-79 with 5:17 left in regulation, but
stormed back to tie the score and sent it into overtime on
Babbitt's 3 with 22 seconds left.
"We showed a lot of heart and determination," Aldridge said.
To win their second straight game the Blazers had to find a way
to stop Ben Gordon, who set a Bobcats' franchise record with
eight 3-pointers and finished with 29 points to eclipse 10,000
for his career.
Damian Lillard scored 24 points and Nicolas Batum added 17
points and 13 rebounds for the Blazers, who finish their
seven-game road trip at Indiana on Wednesday.
"We are showing that anything is possible if we crack down and
we play defense," Aldridge said. "Down the stretch we were
aggressive, hit the board and started trapping off the pick and
roll. We had to make Ben Gordon and (Kemba) Walker pass the
Batum opened overtime with a big 3-pointer and the Blazers never
Babbitt later added a clutch 3-ball to push the lead to four and
Wesley Matthews finished off the Bobcats by hitting 4 of 4 free
throws in the final 53 seconds.
Charlotte had a chance to win at the end of regulation but Kemba
Walker's drive and fallaway jumper from the baseline didn't
fall. The Bobcats wanted to get the ball to Gordon for the last
shot, but he was well covered.
Walker penetrated, pump-faked and got a good shot off that
didn't go down.
Walker finished with 22 points and seven assists for the
Bobcats. Byron Mullens added 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Gordon, who is shooting 49 percent from 3-point range this
season, began to heat up late in the third quarter and gave the
Bobcats a five-point lead to open the fourth.
Charlotte carried the momentum into the final period opening
with a flurry, scoring the first 12 points with Michael
Kidd-Gilchrist adding six during the stretch and Gordon hitting
two more 3s to push the lead to 18.
That's when Blazers coach Terry Slots told his players during a
timeout that "a lot can happen."
"I've been on the other end of this before," Stotts said. "It
doesn't happen often. But it does happen. And you have to
believe that it's going to happen for you."
The Blazers began chipping away as Lillard scored 16 points
after halftime and Babbitt provided a huge lift off the bench.
"Luke was big," Aldridge said. "He played solid on defense and
he was big for us. They were doubling the block so coach wanted
to put a shooter out there. You can't leave Luke out there open.
He opened up the floor for us."
The Bobcats (7-9) have now lost four straight since tying last
year's season win total.
Gordon said the game was a learning experience for a Bobcats
team that starts two rookies and is one of the league's most
"NBA games are long," Gordon said. "I've seen a lot of crazy
things happen and it's never really over until it's over. So,
when you have that type of advantage on a team, you just have to
keep your foot on their neck and try and put them away."
The Bobcats have won seven games this season but most of those
have been close.
Coach Mike Dunlap said it looked like his team wasn't sure what
to do when it opened a big lead. The loss also left the Bobcats'
first-year coach second-guessing himself.
"It is unfamiliar territory," Dunlap said. "I thought I could
have done a better job helping them, for example with
substitutions or maybe a couple of post-up plays for Byron. So I
sort of point the finger at me on that."
Mullens came up with one of the most impressive plays of the
season in the first half with the 7-foot center driving down the
lane and dunking one-handed over Aldridge.
"I kind of surprised myself with that one," Mullens said. "I
didn't know he was there until Brendan (Haywood) moved out of
the way. It was a great screen. He really sealed him. I thought
it was going to be a charge."
NOTES: Charlotte's Gerald Henderson returned after missing 13
games with a foot injury, but did not start. Henderson played
only 15 minutes and scored five points. ... Batum had his first
double-double of the season. He also had a season-high seven
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