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Portland forces double-OT in Dallas

  1. Written by: KevinHudson

    LaMarcus Aldridge did everything he could to come out of his home state a winner Saturday, making a pair of clutch, crunch-time shots to help the Trail Blazers force two overtimes before Portland finally came up short at Dallas, falling 97-94 to the Mavericks in front of 20,457 at American Airlines Center.

    Aldridge netted the first of two game-saving shots with 12.9 remaining in regulation: a fadeaway, turnaround jumper that tied the game, 81-81. This after a grueling comeback by Portland (15-13) from down by as many as 18 points in the first half.

    "I thought our guys fought tonight to get themselves back into the game, and to give ourselves a chance to win the game," said Portland coach Nate McMillan.  "We've just got to make breaks for ourselves. We have opportunities and we've had them all season long where you've got to make plays. You've got to make shots, you've got to get stops, and, again, tonight we don't make shots when we have the opportunity."

    Dirk Nowitzki missed his 15-foot fadeaway opportunity as regulation time expired and it was on to overtime, where a bucket from Nicolas Batum to start the extra period gave Portland it's first lead of the contest, 83-81. A Jamal Crawford driving bank shot doubled that lead to 85-81 with 3:42 of extra basketball to play.

    Dallas (17-11) responded with six unanswered points to regain an 87-85 advantage with 37 seconds left but Aldridge answered the call again for the Trail Blazers, driving across the lane to rattle home a running jumphook and tie the game with 24 seconds left on the clock.

    Aldridge led all scorers with 33 points in the contest on 14-of-26 from the field, while pulling down 12 rebounds.

    Nowitzki's closing ability was again found wanting as the clock wound down on the overtime period, though this time Gerald Wallace snatched the board, his tenth of the night, and called for time with two seconds left.

    Crawford's left-wing three attempt was long to end the period and it was on to double-overtime, where Delonte West hit 3-of-4 from the field to lead Dallas while the Trail Blazers shot a collective 2-of-8 from the field to concede the final margin as Crawford's contested, potentially game-tying three attempt sailed long once again, careening off the glass as time expired.

    "That’s tough because the defender knows I needed a three. He was playing me to go get the two, but that doesn’t help my team so I shot the three. I tip my hat to them and I really thought the first shot was good in the first overtime," Crawford said. "This game was a tough loss and I take this one personally myself because I take pride in being able to come up with big shots during the big moment."

    Wallace posted a double-double for Portland with 10 points, 10 rebounds, four steals and a key block in overtime. Crawford led the reserves with 19 points on 6-of-23 shooting while Batum chipped in 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three blocks.

    Center Marcus Camby left the game in the first half after injuring his ankle but returned in the second half. X-rays of the ankle were negative and Camby said he hopes to play Tuesday in Portland.

    Nowitzki led Dallas with 20 points, nine boards, followed by Jason Terry, who poured in 19 off the bench, eight points coming on 4-of-4 shooting in the fourth quarter.

    Shawn Marion notched the Mavericks lone double-double with 14 points, 12 rebounds and West and Lamar Odom added 10 points each.

    Portland returns to action Tuesday, 7 p.m., at the Rose Garden against the Washington Wizards. The game can be seen locally on Comcast SportsNet and nationally on NBA TV. 750 AM The Game and NBA Audio League Pass will have the play-by-play call.


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