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Trail Blazers win thriller over Warriors

  1. Written by: KevinHudson  / avg. rating: 5.0

    The Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Golden State Warriors 90-87 in a dramatic finish Sunday in front 20,636 at the Rose Garden.  

    Trailing the Warriors 85-80 with three minutes left to play, Wesley Matthews’ two free throws were followed by a Raymond Felton three-pointer from the left corner that tied the game at 85-85 with 2:32 remaining.  

    Matthews hit another free throw to give the Trail Blazers a one-point edge with 1:57 to play, but a putback bucket from David Lee on the other end of the floor put the Warriors up 87-86 with 1:42 on the clock.  

    After missed opportunities at both ends, LaMarcus Aldridge hit a trademark turnaround fadeaway jumper along the right baseline to recapture the lead for Portland, 88-87, with 39 left in the contest.  

    “I had missed so many easy shots all night, I felt like my time was coming. The odds had to even up,” Aldridge said. “I just tried to take him in as far as I could, they came to double and I went to the baseline, and I made it. I’ve shot that shot so many times, so it feels easy to just shoot it.”  

    That basket and an ensuing pair of Aldridge free throws were complemented by defensive stops on four consecutive Golden State possessions as the Trail Blazers cemented the final margin.  

    “Our defense came to play tonight for 48 minutes,” said Portland coach Kaleb Canales. “The defense, especially those last possessions, was phenomenal. Our communication was great. I thought we got after it.”  

    Portland (23-26) would need its defense, shooting a collective 36.5 percent from the field. It was the team's worst winning field goal percentage of the season and their first win when shooting worse than 40 percent.

    Felton was the only Portland player to shoot better than 50 percent from the field, going 9-for-17, including 4-of-7 from long range, to total a team-high 24 points and game-high seven assists. Aldridge was next with 18 points and nine rebounds.  

    Nicolas Batum added 17 points, eight rebounds and Matthews contributed 10 points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists.  

    Golden State (20-27) was led by rookie guard Charles Jenkins with a career-high 27 points, followed by David Lee and Klay Thompson with 16 points each. Lee added 16 rebounds and Brandon Rush notched 10 points and 11 rebounds for the game's two double-doubles.  

    Portland’s homestand continues Tuesday, 7 p.m., at the Rose Garden as the Trail Blazers take on the West-leading Oklahoma City Thunder. The game can be seen locally on KGW channel 8. 750 AM The Game and NBA Audio League Pass will have the play-by-play call.

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