Blazers fall in OT at Denver

DENVER — Wilson Chandler admitted feeling a bit winded and tired in his second game back from hip problems that had sidelined him for two months. Not enough to bother his shooting touch, though.

Chandler hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 14.9 seconds remaining in overtime, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 115-111 Tuesday night for their season-best sixth consecutive victory.

"The way the game was going for me, I was a little fatigued," said Chandler, who had a labral tear in his left hip repaired last spring and then had to take time off in early November when pain resurfaced in the surgically-repaired hip.

"I had a little muscle fatigue, so I was kind of struggling throughout the game. So to come in and hit a shot like that is big," Chandler said.

Danilo Gallinari added 25 points, including a key 3-pointer in the extra period. Ty Lawson had 24 points and 12 assists for the Nuggets, who are 2-0 in overtime this season.

"I was trying to attack, and when I attack, it brings assists because people have to double me or come over and help," Lawson said. "We played well in the second half. Got steals, deflections in the second half that led to easy baskets. In overtime, we just hit big shots."

Portland, which lost for the first time in six OT games this season, was led by LaMarcus Aldridge's 28 points. Nicolas Batum had 22 points, J.J. Hickson 19 and Damian Lillard 16.

"It was a tremendous game," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "I think for the most part, both teams played pretty well. Third quarter turnovers hurt us, their transition hurt us. We got better as the game went on but that hurt us early."

Gallinari hit his third 3 of the game for an overtime lead but Aldridge responded with a turnaround jumper that tied it 109-all with 51.8 seconds left. Lawson then lobbed a pass to JaVale McGee for an alley-oop dunk.

The game was tied again when Aldridge hit both free throws after being fouled by McGee, setting the stage for the decisive shot by Chandler. Chandler got open in the corner and Andre Iguodala got the ball to him. Chandler caught it, immediately put up the shot and it swished through.

"They were going to have to leave someone open," Lawson said. "Iggy got it going, getting to the basket, so they had to leave someone open and Wilson hit a big shot."

Lillard just missed a 3-point try with 3.2 seconds left and Lawson made one of two free throws for the final score.

"That wasn't what we were looking for," Lillard said. "But we moved the ball around a little bit, and there were just a few seconds left, so we had to get a shot up. That was the look I had. It felt good actually. I knew I was going to have to shoot it when it came back to me, so I got myself ready to shoot. It came off my hands well. It looked good. It just didn't fall. We've got to live with what happened and get ready for tomorrow."

After Wesley Matthews hit a 5-foot runner to pull the Trail Blazers to 89-86 with 5:13 left, the Nuggets scored six straight points, starting with a pair of free throws by Kenneth Faried, who had 21 points and 11 rebounds, to stretch their lead to 95-86.

Portland came right back, scoring 10 of the next 12 points and pulling to 97-96 on a layup by Aldridge.

Lawson shook free on a drive to the basket for a layup with 45.4 seconds remaining to push the Nuggets' advantage to three.

But Wesley Matthews hit a tying 3-pointer with 32 seconds remaining in regulation. Shots by Iguodala and Lillard both were off the mark in the final moments of the fourth quarter, sending the game into overtime tied at 99.

Clippers 117, Rockets 109

At Houston, Jamal Crawford scored a season-high 30 points, including 12 straight to start the fourth quarter, and the Los Angeles Clippers looked just fine without Chris Paul in a win over the struggling Houston Rockets.

The Clippers won their second game in a row despite missing their star point guard, who is day to day with a bruised right kneecap.

Lakers 104, Bucks 88

At Los Angeles, Dwight Howard had 31 points and 16 rebounds, Kobe Bryant also scored 31 points and Los Angeles beat Milwaukee for its second straight win after a six-game skid.

Metta World Peace added 12 points as the Lakers prepared for Thursday's visit from the NBA champion Miami Heat with an impressive effort against the Bucks, who lost for the second time in five games under interim coach Jim Boylan.

Pacers 103, Bobcats 76

At Charlotte, N.C., Roy Hibbert had 18 points and seven rebounds, and Indiana handed Charlotte its 13th straight home loss.

With team owner Michael Jordan looking on from the bench, the Bobcats lost their fifth in a row. They've dropped 24 of 26 since Thanksgiving.

Nets 113, Raptors 106

At New York, Brook Lopez had 22 points and nine rebounds, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams each scored 21 points, and Brooklyn beat Toronto to extend its season-high winning streak to seven games.

Andray Blatche added 14 points for the Nets, in the midst of their longest winning streak since running off 14 in a row late in the 2005-06 season.

Hornets 111, 76ers 99

At Philadelphia, Greivis Vasquez scored 23 points and Eric Gordon added 19 to help New Orleans beat Philadelphia.

Ryan Anderson had 14 points, Xavier Henry scored 11 and Anthony Davis 10 for the Hornets, who are last in the Western Conference at 12-26 — with matching 6-13 records at home and on the road.


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