Blazers erase 21-point deficit vs. Mavs

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 30, 2013
LaMarcus Aldridge hit a turnaround jumper at the final buzzer and the Portland Trail Blazers came back from a 21-point third-quarter deficit to beat the Dallas Mavericks 106-104 on Tuesday night. Aldridge finished with 29 points and 13 rebounds for Portland, which trailed 101-94 with 2:18 left. J.J. Hickson had a season-high 26 points and 15 rebounds. After Wesley Matthews made two free throws to pull the Blazers to 101-98 with 52 seconds to go, Nicolas Batum's 3-pointer tied the score. Dirk Nowitzki answered with his own 3 with before Aldridge had a 3 to tie it at 104 with 4.9 seconds left. O.J. Mayo was called for charging with 1.5 seconds to go, and Aldridge hit his jumper after the inbound from Matthews with 0.2 seconds left for the victory. Dirk Nowitzki finished with 26 points for Dallas, which had won six of its last eight games. The Mavericks were without center Chris Kaman, who sustained a concussion in a collision during practice on Monday, according to coach Rick Carlisle. There was no timetable for Kaman's return. He is averaging 12.4 points and 6.2 rebounds this season. The injury comes as the Mavericks have juggled their centers, starting a different one in each of their last three games. Kaman, Elton Brand and rookie Bernard James have each taken turns. Brandan Wright also plays at center for the Mavs. James made his second straight start against the Blazers. ''It helps to have depth,'' Carlisle said. ''We need all those guys but this (Kaman's injury) is a big hit for us.'' In a first half marked by lackluster defense on both sides, Nowitzki's long jumper put Dallas up 37-28. Nowitzki, who missed the Mavericks' first 27 games after surgery on his right knee, hit another jumper that extended the lead to 47-36. Darren Collison scored 10 straight points and Dallas closed out the first half with 19-6 run to take a 59-42 lead. Portland struggled with its 3-point shot, shooting 2 for 12 in the first half. Mayo's step back jumper pushed Dallas' lead to 69-48 after the break. Batum, who had two triple-doubles last week for the Blazers, didn't hit from the field until a 3-pointer with 4:43 left in the third quarter that made it 74-58. Luke Babbitt hit a 3-pointer and Aldridge made a short jumper to narrow it, and Portland pulled closer to 78-72 after Aldridge and rookie Damian Lillard each hit free throws. Portland finished the third on a 16-4 run to get within 74-80 to start the final period. Batum's driving layup cut Dallas' lead to 86-83 with 8:20 left. After Vince Carter made two free throws for the Mavs, Ronnie Price hit a 3-pointer and Sasha Pavlovic dunked to tie it up at 88. Notes: The Mavs beat the Blazers 114-91 on Nov. 5 in Dallas. ... The Mavericks were flagged with a technical for six players on the floor late in the first half. ... Portland had 38 points in the third quarter, a season high.
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