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Portland slips by Cavaliers in OT



Published: Sun, December 2, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press

CLEVELAND

Nicolas Batum’s 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds left in the second overtime gave the Portland Trail Blazers a 118-117 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.

Trailing 117-115 with 2.5 seconds remaining, Portland called timeout and inbounded near midcourt. Damian Lillard passed to Batum, who hit a fadeaway jumper from the right corner in front of Cleveland’s bench. With time only for a tip-in attempt, the Cavaliers couldn’t get a shot off before time expired.

Lillard led Portland with 24 points while Batum added 22. Alonzo Gee paced the Cavaliers with 22 points, but missed a free throw that would have given them a three-point lead before Batum’s shot.

Anderson Varejao had 19 points and 17 rebounds for his eighth straight double-double.

J.J. Hickson made his return to Quicken Loans Arena.

The 19th pick by Cleveland in the 2008 NBA Draft was traded to Sacramento for Omri Casspi and a 2012 first-round draft choice.

Sacramento released Hickson in March 2012, and he signed with Portland as a free agent.

Hickson scored 11 points, grabbed five rebounds and had two assists.

Portland put five players in double figures and improved to 1-4 on its seven-game eastern road trip.

Cleveland, which placed seven players in double figures, has lost 11 of 13.

The first overtime began with the scored tied at 91 and featured five lead changes and three ties. An apparent game-winning basket by Batum was disallowed because it came after time expired. The basket was first ruled good, but the call was changed after a video review.

Batum scored to give Portland a brief lead in the second OT, but Gee’s 3-pointer put Cleveland ahead 114-113. Lillard followed with a basket for the Trail Blazers, but Tyler Zeller’s jumper with 52.3 seconds left put the Cavaliers ahead again.

Following turnovers by both teams, the Trail Blazers missed on two attempts and Gee was fouled. He missed the first shot and made the second.

Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters left the game in the second overtime with an ankle injury. Varejao, the NBA’s leading rebounder, dislocated his right ring finger in the first quarter. X-rays were negative and he returned midway through the second period.


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