Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/1/12
CLEVELAND -- Portland forward Nicolas Batum's 3-pointer with :00.2 remaining propelled the Trail Blazers to an 118-117 double overtime victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night at Quicken Loans Arena. Batum's 12-footer at the end of overtime was overruled by a video replay. He came back with a vengeance in the second OT. He fired in 22 points, including 3 of 4 from behind the 3-point arc, and seven rebounds for the Blazers (7-10), who snapped a four-game losing streak. Slick rookie guard Damian Lillard led all scorers with 24 points, 11 assists and six rebounds. The teams were tied at 103 after the first overtime. It looked like rookie center Tyler Zeller was going to be the hero after several key plays in the second OT for the Cavs (4-13). His 18-footer with 52.3 seconds left gave the Cavs a 116-115 lead. On Portland's next possession, his hard shove on Lillard forced a turnover with 30 seconds left when the rookie guard lost the handle out of bounds. Zeller passed up a 20-footer the next time the Cavs touched the ball, and then traveled. The 7-foot blocked a shot by J.J. Hickson on the defensive end. Cavs forward Alonzo Gee split two free throws with 2.5 seconds left, leaving the score 117-115. Batum then hit his clutch 3 in front of the Cavs bench for the game-winner. Blazers center LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points and nine rebounds. Portland outscored the Cavs, 15-14, in the second overtime and is now 3-0 in extra periods this season. For the Cavs, center Anderson Varejao recorded his eighth consecutive double-double with 19 points, 17 rebounds and five assists. His double-double streak is two shy of Elmore Smith's team record in 1978. Gee had 22 points for the Cavs, while rookie guard Dion Waiters added 12 points and seven assists. He left holding his left ankle with 1:49 remaining in second overtime after Varejao accidently fell on him. The teams were tied 91-91 at the end of regulation. The Cavs took a 91-89 lead on Tristan Thompson's slam dunk in traffic with 53.7 seconds remaining. Waiters' penetration set up the second-year power forward. Aldridge grabbed a key offensive rebound over Varejao on Portland's next possession. His shot attempt was swatted into the stands by Thompson on a controversial goaltending call. He was fouled by Varejao, but Aldridge missed the free throw with 36.8 seconds remaining, leaving the score tied at 91-91. A crucial 24-second violation by the Cavs gave the ball back to Portland, but Thompson got his hand on Lillard's drive to the basket as time expired. All five starters scored in double figures for the Cavs. Point guard Jeremy Pargo added 13 points and eight assists. Zeller ended with 14 points and a season-high 10 rebounds. Play deteriorated in the second quarter. The Cavs held on for a 48-47 halftime advantage, but shot just 31.8 percent in the second quarter. The Blazers outscored the Cavs, 26-20, in the second quarter. Batum, who was elbowed in the nose in the first quarter, scored eight points in the second quarter for the Blazers. Varejao had 11 points and eight rebounds for the Cavs. Both teams are playing the second game of a back-to-back set. The Cavs opened up a 28-21 lead after the first quarter on the strength of torrid shooting from the field. They shot 52.4 percent from the field in the first quarter. Varejao had seven points and four rebounds in the opening quarter. Swingman Will Barton came off the bench to fire in five points for the Trail Blazers in the first quarter. Portland shot 56 percent from the field in the first quarter, but turned the ball over six times. NOTES: Varejao had an X-ray on his dislocated right ring finger in between the first and second quarter. It was negative. ... J.J. Hickson was the Cavs' first-round pick in 2008. He spent three seasons in Cleveland before being traded to Sacramento. "I get chills walking into this building," he said. "This is where it all started for me." Cavs coach Byron Scott is impressed with Hickson's maturity. "He's doing some of the things he's capable of doing: Rebounding, running the floor," he said. "He's not putting a whole lot of stock in scoring and being the offensive juggernaut he thought he was. He's playing within himself and he's doing a very good job." ... Varejao's 204 rebounds in November were the second most ever by a Cavs player in any month. Rick Roberson had 205 in December 1971. ... Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts knows he has a special player in Damian Lillard. "He's been the Rookie of the Month in my mind," Stotts said. Scott likes what he's seen of Lillard. "He's a true point guard," he said. "He tries to get his teammates involved. I think his talent is undeniable." ... The Cavs want guard Daniel Gibson to wear an elastic band on his sore right elbow. He says it affects his shooting and he's discarded it.
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