TORONTO — A steady hand and cool demeanor helped Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers.
Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge each scored 25 points, Nicolas Batum had a season-high 24, and the Trail Blazers won their sixth consecutive game with a 118-110 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.
Lillard was 3-for-3 from the floor in the extra period, and the Blazers escaped after blowing a 17-point lead in regulation.
“We didn’t have a reason to be all riled up,” Lillard said. “They played well getting back into the game. I think we were calm because we knew what we needed to do to win the game, and we were able to get that done.”
Toronto’s Rudy Gay forced overtime with a buzzer-beating layup and tied a season high with 30 points to go with 10 rebounds. DeMar DeRozan scored 29 points, and Jonas Valanciunas had a season-high 19 for the Raptors.
“The overtime we played well, especially defensively,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. “I was proud of the way we competed in overtime, made plays and got the win.”
The Blazers made a season-high 15 3-pointers, while the Raptors made just three.
“It’s tough when they’re knocking down shots like that,” Gay said. “No matter how much we rotate, move it around and switch, it’s tough to play when a team has it going. I’m not happy they made shots, but I’m happy with the effort we put forth.”
Portland’s long-range accuracy wasn’t a surprise to Raptors coach Dwane Casey, who talked about the Blazers’ potent offense before the game.
“(They’re) one of the best offensive teams that we’ve seen,” Casey said. “I think as far as scoring the basketball, averaging 103 points a game, they are a very explosive offensive team, so we’ve got to be on point. We’ve got to guard the 3-point line.”
The Raptors were 2-for-12 from the floor in overtime, while the Blazers patiently moved the ball and went 5-for-8 from the field.
Though Lillard wasn’t thrilled with the fourth-quarter collapse, he was pleased with the way his team responded after it.
“We could have folded,” he said. “Once we got to overtime, on the bench we just said, ‘We need to get some stops. We need to execute and pull this game out.’ Then we went on the floor and we did it.”
Asik trade appears imminent: The Rockets seem resigned to trading center Omer Asik as soon as a reasonable deal with another team can be worked out, ESPN.com reported.
Asik started all 82 games for Houston last season and averaged 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds. He was paired with Dwight Howard in the starting lineup to begin this season, but that has not worked out, and Asik repeatedly has asked to be traded.
Lakers play waiting game with Kobe: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, recovering from an Achilles tendon tear, went through shooting drills one day after returning to practice. However, coach Mike D’Antoni said that does not mean he will be in a game anytime soon.McClatchy news services