Trail Blazers prevail in OT against Pistons
The Portland Trail Blazers earned a 111-109 overtime victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night that seemed unlikely until the final minutes.
The Associated Press
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Damian Lillard came spinning down the lane at the end of overtime and was blanketed by Rodney Stuckey, leaving Portland’s guard no choice but to fade to his right for a last-ditch shot.
The ball dropped through the basket, giving the Blazers a 111-109 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night that seemed unlikely until the final minutes.
“Stuckey did a great job, but they told me that I was going to have to make a double move to get anything off,” Lillard said. “He blocked my first move, and I knew he wouldn’t let me get to the basket, so I just spun off my other shoulder and put up a fadeaway. It felt good when I let it go, but a lot of shots felt good tonight and didn’t go in.”
That one did — with one tenth of a second left. Lillard scored eight of his 23 points in overtime.
Detroit led by 13 early in the fourth quarter, but the Pistons looked out of sorts offensively down the stretch. Josh Smith scored 31 points but the chance for a big home victory against one of the league’s most impressive teams slipped away.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 27 points for Portland (21-4). Moments before Lillard’s winner, Stuckey tied the game for Detroit with a shot from near the free-throw line. Stuckey, from Kentwood High School and Eastern Washington, scored 17 points.
Portland, which made 21 shots from three-point range in Saturday’s rout of Philadelphia, went 7 of 26 on Sunday.
“That wasn’t looking good for most of the second half,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “But we got some big shots from Wesley Matthews and the defense really stepped up.”
• Kevin Durant had 28 points, nine rebounds and five assists, and Oklahoma City held off Orlando 101-98 to win its 12th straight home game to open the season. Russell Westbrook added 20 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for the Thunder, which has won six straight overall and 14 of 15.
• Rudy Gay scored 26 points in his first home game since coming over in a trade from Toronto, leading host Sacramento past Houston 106-91. Former Husky Isaiah Thomas had 19 points and eight assists for the Kings.
• Eric Bledsoe scored seven of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and the host Phoenix Suns won their fifth straight game, 106-102 over Golden State. Stephen Curry scored 30 points for the Warriors and former Cougar Klay Thompson had 19.
• Portland center Meyers Leonard and Philadelphia center Daniel Orton were each suspended for one game for their altercation Saturday night.