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Blazers go long, net OT win at Toronto

by: TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Nicolas Batum scored six of his 24 points in overtime on a pair of 3-pointers Sunday as the Trail Blazers beat Toronto 118-110.Portland Trail Blazers 118, TORONTO RAPTORS 110 (OT)

Sunday afternoon, Air Canada Centre, 17,945 announced attendance

HIGHLIGHTS

A barrage of 3-pointers propelled Portland to 2-0 on its four-game road trip. The Blazers made three timely 3s in overtime and finished with a season-high 15 makes from beyond the arc, in 32 attempts.

The Blazers were pulling away, after leading 57-54 at halftime, thanks largely to the Raptors' 56.8-percent shooting.

But Toronto made a late, 11-2 run and got within 102-100 with 35 seconds to go, then forced overtime.

At the end of regulation, LaMarcus Aldridge missed a 20-footer that was well-defended. At the other end, Blazers guard Mo Williams reached in and tied up Amir Johnson on a drive for a jump ball with 7.5 seconds remaining. The Raptors got the jump and called a timeout with 4.3 seconds left. Rudy Gay drove the lane on Nicolas Batum and made a high-banked layup at the buzzer to force OT at 102-102.

In the extra period, Damian Lillard made a 3 and a 2 to give Portland a 109-107 lead going into the final two minutes. Batum sank a long 3 for a 112-107 advantage at the 1:29 mark, and he added another 3 from the left corner at 1:07 to make the score 115-107

WHAT IT MEANS

Portland has won six in a row.

And the Blazers are challenging for first place in the NBA Western Conference. They are 8-2 and trail only San Antonio (9-1). The Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors are 7-3, Oklahoma City is 6-3, and Houston and Minnesota are 7-4. Dallas in eighth in the West at 6-4, with Phoenix at 5-4.

The Raptors fell to 4-7 with their second loss in a row.

Portland has won nine of its last 10 times against Toronto.

TOP PERFORMERS

The OT gave Aldridge a chance to extend his double-double string to five games -- and he did that with a couple of late rebounds (his 10th and 11th). He also scored 25 points (11 of 27 from the field).

Damian Lillard (25 points), Nic Batum (24, 5 of 8 on 3-pointers) and Wesley Matthews (17) made it a starter-dominated attack for Portland.

Off the bench, Williams had 13 of the Blazers' 21 reserve points.

For Toronto, Gay scored 30 points, and DeMar DeRozan had 29.

KEY STATS

The Blazers are 4-1 away this season, after going 11-30 on the road in 2012-13.

Sunday's game was tied 11 ties and had 18 lead changes.

Portland led by as many as 17 points, despite the Raptors' 62-28 edge in the paint.

LOCAL NOTE

Toronto guard Terrence Ross, 6-6, who played at Jefferson High, did not score in 14 minutes off the bench. He was 0 for 3 from the field, with one turnover.

QUOTE

Blazers coach Terry Stotts: "We're playing pretty unselfishly to find the open man. We have enough good shooters that if you give them time they're going to make more than their share of shots."

NEXT

The Blazers will play at the 3-6 Brooklyn Nets, 4:30 p.m. PT Monday (CSNNW).