Aldridge, Lillard help Blazers hold off Raptors
PORTLAND — LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and 15 rebounds, Damian Lillard hit a go-ahead free throw with 11.8 seconds and the Portland Trail Blazers edged the Toronto Raptors 106-103 Saturday night.
The Trail Blazers held off a furious second-half comeback by Toronto, which wiped out a 19-point deficit to take a 103-102 lead on two free throws by DeMar DeRozan with 25 seconds remaining.
Lillard and Wesley Matthews scored 21 points apiece for Portland and Nicolas Batum added 18.
DeRozan finished with 36 points and 12 assists, doing most of his damage during a 30-point second half. He accounted for 22 of the Raptors' 26 second-half baskets with 12 field goals and 10 assists.
Kyle Lowry added 23 points for Toronto.
Portland led 69-50 early in the third quarter and by as many as 16 points during the fourth, but DeRozan nearly saved the day for Toronto. The All-Star guard scored 14 points in the fourth quarter, including seven points during a 16-2 Raptors run that gave them the 103-102 lead.
After Lillard hit two free throws to regain the lead for Portland, Toronto had a final chance, but Matthews forced DeRozan into a turnover. Batum hit two free throws with 0.1 seconds left to seal the win.
Portland came into the game in a bit of an offensive slump, scoring season lows of 81 and 88 points in its past two games. The Blazers found the best way to get it going was on the defensive end, as they held Toronto to 35 percent shooting (14 of 40) during the first half on the way to a 57-40 halftime lead.
Aldridge kick-started Portland's performance with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds during the first quarter to stake Portland to a 31-19 lead.
Helped by two Portland technical fouls, Toronto went on a 10-2 run midway through the second quarter to cut the deficit to 43-34. But Lillard went to work, punctuating a 12-point second quarter with a driving windmill dunk to put the Blazers in front 50-36.