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Portland finishes off Indiana for win

INDIANAPOLIS — LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard provided the 1-2 punch Portland needed Saturday night.

As usual, it was a knockout combination.

The All-Stars made back-to-back 19-foot jumpers in the fourth quarter, helping to fend off Indiana’s desperate rally for a 95-85 victory that snapped the Trail Blazers’ two-game losing streak.

Aldridge finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds while Lillard added 18 points, enough to hand the Pacers an eighth consecutive loss.

“We really realized, because of outcomes of previous games, we’ve got to do whatever it takes to put ourselves in a position to win this game,” center Robin Lopez said after finishing with eight points and eight rebounds.

Neither the road trip nor their final game on it went the way the Trail Blazers (18-6) envisioned.

After starting with wins at New York and Detroit, Portland arrived in Indiana following losses at Minnesota and Chicago. They started slow Monday, too, but Aldridge and Lillard helped them turn the game in the second quarter when they shot 77.8 percent from the field and outscored the Pacers 36-15 to take a 58-38 halftime lead.

Another fast start in the third quarter seemingly put away the game. Aldridge’s 20-foot jumper with 8:03 left gave Portland a 69-40 lead.

But the staggered Pacers refused to stay down and instead slowly fought their way back into contention.

They got within 82-66 after three, closed the deficit to 82-71 early in the fourth and then suddenly were within 86-78 when David West hit a 20-footer with 4:18 left. That’s when Aldridge and Lillard made their back-to-back baskets to finally put the Pacers away.

“They made a lot of shots and they were being aggressive going to the basket,” coach Terry Stotts said of the Pacers’ comeback. “Games have a tendency of swaying one way or the other, they did make their run but we took care of it at the end.”

Indiana was led by C.J. Watson, who had 23 points and Rodney Stuckey, who had 14 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. The Pacers have now shot less than 40 percent in five of their last eight games and have lost the last four by an average of 11.5 points.

“We just took our foot off the gas for a short period of time and that lead went up,” Stuckey said. “A team like that, you can’t do that.”


Trail Blazers: Portland has been strong in the West, but it has dominated the East. The Northwest Division leaders are now 11-1 against the Eastern Conference foes this season after winning at Indiana for the first time since December 2009.

Pacers: Roy Hibbert has played more like the struggling center from the second half of last season than a two-time All-Star. While his own injury and those to teammates have posed obstacles, Indiana needs more from its big man. Hibbert entered Saturday averaging 11.6 points and 7.2 rebounds. Against Portland, he was 4 of 11 from the field with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

WARRIORS 105, MAVERICKS 98: At Dallas, the Golden State Warriors won their franchise-record 15th straight game, with Stephen Curry scoring 29 points and Klay Thompson adding 25.

The Warriors became the 12th NBA team to open a season 20-2. Steve Kerr, in his first season, is the first coach to start that fast.

Curry and Thompson each scored 17 in the first half as Golden State ran out to a 28-point lead. The Mavericks got as close as seven in the final minute of the game.

Monta Ellis scored 24 points to lead the Mavericks, who played without Chandler Parsons because of a sore back. Dallas dropped to 0-5 against the top seven teams in the Western Conference.

MAGIC 100, HAWKS 99: At Orlando, Fla., Tobias Harris got a leaning, 13-foot jumper to rattle in at the buzzer as Orlando snapped Atlanta’s nine-game winning streak.

Harris finished with 20 points, Evan Fournier added 19 and Nik Vucevic 18. Orlando took the second game of the back-to-back after Atlanta’s victory at home on Friday.

The game was tight throughout, featuring 10 ties and 15 lead changes. The Magic had 10 first-quarter turnovers, but just five the rest of the game.

Jeff Teague had 24 points, leading six Hawks players in double figures. Al Horford added 18 and Kyle Korver 11.

GRIZZLIES 120, 76ERS 115, OT: At Philadelphia, Mike Conley hit the tying 3-pointer to send the game into overtime and scored a career-high 36 points, leading Memphis past Philadelphia.

The Grizzlies rallied from 18 points down over the final 7 minutes of regulation to keep the Sixers winless at home. Conley scored 16 points in the fourth and kept Memphis in the hunt for best record in the Western Conference.

Zach Randolph had 24 points and 11 rebounds. Conley was 13 of 22 from the floor, hit five 3-pointers and had nine assists.

Michael Carter-Williams had an empty triple-double for the Sixers with 16 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds. But a handful of turnovers and poor shot selection helped doom the Sixers in the fourth and OT.

ROCKETS 108, NUGGETS 96: At Houston, Dwight Howard had 26 points and 13 rebounds in his return from injury, James Harden had a triple-double, and Houston overcame an early deficit to beat Denver.

Howard, who missed the previous 11 games with a strained right knee, also reached a milestone, eclipsing 10,000 rebounds in his career.

Harden had 24 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his third career triple-double. He almost didn’t get it, grabbing his 10th rebound with less than a second left in the game.

Ty Lawson had 19 points and 12 assists, and Darrell Arthur had a season-high 20 points for the Nuggets.

BUCKS 111, CLIPPERS 106: At Milwaukee, Brandon Knight scored 22 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 20, and Milwaukee beat the Clippers.

Jamal Crawford hit a 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds left to pull the Clippers to 109-106. Knight’s inbounds pass was tipped out of bounds by Matt Barnes, who was tied up with Khris Middleton on a close play.

The referees reviewed the replay and confirmed that the Bucks had the ball. Milwaukee inbounded again, and Knight hit a pair of free throws with 2.1 seconds remaining to close the scoring.

Barnes scored a season-high 26 points and JJ Redick added 25 for Los Angeles.

NETS 114, HORNETS 87: At Charlotte, Joe Johnson scored 22 points, Deron Williams and Mason Plumlee had double-doubles and Brooklyn beat Charlotte for its second straight victory.

Johnson was 9 of 16 from the field and 4 of 6 from 3-point range as the Nets shot 16 of 23 from beyond the arc.

Williams had 18 points and 10 assists, and Plumlee outplayed counterpart Al Jefferson with 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Nets (10-12), who eclipsed 100 points for the first time in 11 games.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 15 points for the Hornets (6-17), who shot 36 percent from the field in their second straight loss.

PISTONS 95, KINGS 90: At Sacramento, Calif., Greg Monroe scored 24 points, Josh Smith had 21 points, 13 rebounds and five blocked shots, and the Detroit Pistons beat the Sacramento Kings.

The Pistons used a 24-14 advantage in the third quarter and never relinquished the lead in registering back-to-back wins for only the second time all season.

Detroit had lost 13 straight and was one loss shy of tying the franchise record before beating Phoenix on Friday.

Rudy Gay made four 3-pointers and scored 20, and also added eight rebounds and eight assists for the Kings. Carl Landry had 15 points and Ben McLemore 14 for Sacramento, who has dropped three straight and eight of 10.

Andre Drummond had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and former South Medford standout Kyle Singler added 11 points for Detroit.

Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge shoots over David West in the first half Saturday. AP PHOTO