Trail Blazers vs Nuggets Friday, 02/25/11 AT 07:30PM

Trail Blazers Outlast Nuggets In Overtime

  1. Written by: ShalamarClark  / avg. rating: 4.7

    It took team basketball for the Portland Trail Blazers to take down the Denver Nuggets in Friday’s 107-106 overtime victory at the Rose Garden.

    But the Trail Blazers gutted out the extra time with 25 points and a game-high 14 rebounds from LaMarcus Aldridge and a clutch performance by Brandon Roy to jump back on the winning track.

    “We were due to win an over time game,” said Trail Blazers’ Head Coach Nate McMillan. “Down six with a little over a minute to go, [we] hung in there and made plays down the stretch. And then having to win in overtime, making plays and getting stops. We did the things we needed to do.”

    Aldridge, who logged 50 minutes, and Wesley Matthews, who scored 16 points and seven rebounds, combined for eight points, including a three-ball from Matthews, to pull Portland (33-25) back from the 106-104 deficit with a minute remaining in the extra quarter to close the season series 2-2.

    “LaMarcus continues to be just amazing,” said McMillan of Aldridge, who helped Portland to a 51-47 rebounding advantage. “Playing 50 minutes against big Nene and establishing that paint for us.”

    Three Trail Blazers ended with 18 points– Rudy Fernandez, Andre Miller and Roy–as Portland shot 43.5 percent from the field and beyond the arc to snap the Nuggets’ three-game winning streak. 

    Fernandez nailed four 3-pointers, added six rebounds and five assists, Miller had a game-high nine assists and nine rebounds, and Roy, who played 24 minutes, drilled two threes late in the fourth with an off-balanced one with 13 seconds winding down to tie the game, 97-97, and force overtime.

    “It felt good, just going through so much it’s always good to make a shot like that,” said Roy. “It’s good for my confidence, but at the same time you just have to keep working.” 

    Denver’s Danilo Gallinari led all scorers with 30 points, nine rebounds and made 15-of-17 from the free-throw line as the Nuggets (34-26) finished shooting 41.9 percent from the floor.

    Wilson Chandler scored 20 points, including three 3-pointers, and six rebounds, Arron Afflalo ended with 19 points and six rebounds, while Nene added 12 points and 11 rebounds. 

    “A great effort, a great game,” said Gallinari. “We fought a great fight, so we have to take the positive thing we did out of this game. It’s tough to lose like this because you fight to the end, and you want to win.”

    Portland started the second half with a 49-39 lead, but Chandler scored 12 points in the third to help Denver go on a 10-0 run for a 64-60 shift. Gallinari, who dropped 11 in the quarter, scored seven straight points in the last two minutes to spread the Nuggets’ lead 72-65 after outscoring the Trail Blazers 33-16 to end the third. 

    “I just try to be aggressive in going to the basket,” said Gallinari. “I try to listen to Coach Karl’s advice and concept of going to go to the basket and be aggressive.”

    Miller and Roy became the aggressors in the fourth as Miller, who had nine in the period, scored five straight after completing a 3-point play and directed the Trail Blazers to an 11-2 run.

    Matthews pulled Portland within two, 80-78, with 5:58 remaining after scoring a putback bucket off Aldridge’s long jumper. But Chandler answered from three to pad a seven-point lead. 

    That’s when Roy transformed down the stretch, scoring 10 points in the last three minutes after putting in a lay-in and hitting a three to come back 94-91 with 39.9 seconds left. Fernandez pulled Portland within two after connecting on back-to-back threes with 15.9 on the clock. 

    With a three-point deficit looming, Matthews inbounded the ball to Roy, who pulled to the arc with defender in his face and threew up a leaning three that hit the bottom of the net with 5.8 seconds left.

    “You just have to keep working, and just fight through adversity,” said Roy. “This team has done it all season long and I just want to be a part of it.”

    Aldridge led Portland with six points and five rebounds in the first, while Miller snatched seven rebounds. Gallinari punched in 12 points, but trailed the Trail Blazers 25-19. 

    The Trail Blazers, who moved up to the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference, will return to the Rose Garden to host the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 PM.  

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