Blazers vs. Raptors
Dec 30, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Amir Johnson (15) shoots the ball over Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during the first quarter of the game at the Moda Center at the Rose Quarter. Reuters

Leading the ball game for most of the night, the Toronto Raptors folded at crunchtime allowing the Portland Trail Blazers to force the extra period and eventually hacked out the hard-earned 102-97 OT victory on Tuesday night. The star duo of LaMarcus Aldridge, who had 23 points and 13 rebounds, and Damian Lillard, who had a game-high 26 points and 9 assists, led the Trail Blazers’ effort in getting their fourth win in a row.

Two of the last four wins for Portland came in overtime and three in the last six needed the extra period as well. They won against Oklahoma City, 115-111 (OT) last Dec. 23 and San Antonio Spurs, 129-119 (OT) last Dec. 19.
Toronto had a 13-point advantage near the end of the third quarter, tying their biggest lead in the game at 70-57 but Portland chipped into the lead and cut it to just seven to enter the fourth quarter. Slowly but surely, the Trail Blazers made a run at the visitors with Lillard lay-up cutting the lead down to one, 83-82 with more than four minutes left in the game. Aldridge tied it a minute later and the teams traded clutch baskets including Amir Johnson’s 5-foot jumper that made it 87-all at the end of the fourth quarter.

In overtime, Portland hit three 3-pointers courtesy of Lillard, Nicolas Batum (13 points, 2/5 3FGs) and Wesley Matthews (19 points, 5/10 3FGs) to give the Trail Blazers the lead early in the overtime period. Portland held on and delivered the comeback win against the frustrated Raptors. Kyle Lowry’s 25-point effort went to waste as well as James Johnson’s double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds. Jonas Valanciunas (14 points and 8 rebounds), Terrence Ross (12 points and 2 steals) and Greivis Vasquez (13 points) also contributed for the losing team.

Upcoming Schedule (Next 3 Games):
Toronto Raptors: at Golden State Warriors, at Phoenix Suns, vs. Charlotte Hornets
Portland Trail Blazers: Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat

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