|Date of game: 1/15/2014
Recap: Portland vs. Cleveland
Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - LaMarcus Aldridge had 32 points and 18 rebounds to carry the Portland Trail Blazers to a 108-96 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.
The score was knotted late at 96-apiece when Aldridge put the team on his back with a personal 6-0 run. Wes Matthews and Damian Lillard followed with 3- pointers to seal the outcome.
"I was very please with our defense, for the most part throughout the game but particularly in the fourth quarter," Portland head coach Terry Stotts said. "We did a nice job of protecting the rim and forcing mid-range shots."
Lillard netted 28 points, Matthews added 15 and Nicolas Batum registered seven points, nine rebounds and six assists in the Blazers' third straight win.
Luol Deng led the Cavs in scoring for the second straight tilt with 25 points, while Kyrie Irving dropped 21 points in the setback. Dion Waiters chipped in 18 off the bench as Cleveland fell to 4-4 in January.
"You have to give LaMarcus Aldridge credit," Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown said. "He hit some tough shots down the stretch, they came up with a couple of tough rebounds, for kick-out threes and it kind of discombobulated us a little bit when they scored."
The final margin was Portland's biggest of the back-and-forth affair, which featured 15 ties and 13 lead changes.
The Blazers led 54-50 at halftime but failed to build on it, as Irving and Tristan Thompson scored the first four points of the second half to tie it.
Cleveland ended up pulling in front by as many as six on Deng's short jumper at 2:19 of the third, and Portland scored the final eight points of the period, including Aldridge's turn-around jumper at the horn, to pull in front by two heading into the fourth.
Waiters tied it at 88-all midway through the final frame. After Deng made 1- of-2 at the line and Robin Lopez finished a short hook to give the hosts a one-point edge, Batum back-tapped a missed Aldridge jumper right to Lillard at the top of the key. His quick trigger three extended Portland's lead to 93-89 with under five minutes left.
Anderson Varejao's tip-in capped a brief 7-3 Cavs run and tied it at 96-all before Aldridge took over down the stretch. He followed a pair of free throws with a deep jumper and a driving lefty layup for a 102-96 Portland edge with 1:28 to play.
Aldridge then pulled down a rebound on Irving's missed corner three, and Matthews and Lillard canned threes on Portland's next two trips to put it away.Game Notes
The Blazers swept the season-series and they've now beaten Cleveland in six of
seven ... Portland improved to 15-2 against the Eastern Conference this season
... Thompson had 10 points and 10 boards.