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Blazers beat Raptors in OT to stretch NW lead

December 31, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland rallied past Toronto in overtime for a 102-97 win on Tuesday, extending the Trail Blazers’ lead in the NBA Northwest Division into double digits.

Elsewhere, Dallas inflicted Washington’s heaviest defeat of the season, Memphis built its lead in the Southwest by downing division rival San Antonio, and Atlanta reclaimed sole leadership of the Southeast with a home victory over Cleveland.

Portland’s Damian Lillard had 26 points and nine assists while LaMarcus Aldridge, who returned from a respiratory illness, had 23 points and 13 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who won their fourth straight.

The Blazers rallied in the fourth quarter after trailing by 13 points but Toronto’s late basket sent the game to overtime, where the hosts assumed control with three straight 3-pointers.

Kyle Lowry finished with 24 points for the Raptors, whose lead in the Eastern Conference was trimmed to half a game over Atlanta.

The Hawks closed in with a 109-101 victory over Cleveland, with Paul Millsap’s efforts enough to stave off a Cavaliers comeback.

Atlanta led by 17 points early in the second half but had to hold off a comeback by Cleveland, which got 35 points from Kyrie Irving.

After the lead was reduced to three, Millsap scored Atlanta’s next eight points. He led the Hawks with 26 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter.

Cleveland was minus LeBron James, who sat out with a sore knee on his 30th birthday.

Atlanta is a game clear in the Southeast ahead of Washington, which suffered a heavy 114-87 defeat at Dallas.

Monta Ellis scored 20 points in 27 minutes for the Mavericks, including nine in the final 2:35 minutes of the second quarter to establish an 18 point halftime lead.

The Mavericks’ 10 straight wins over Washington represent their longest active winning streak against any team.

John Wall had 11 points and eight assists for the Wizards, who committed 23 turnovers.

Dallas’ victory closed the Texan team within a game of Southwest leader Memphis, which had a 95-87 win against San Antonio.

Mike Conley had 30 points and six assists, while Marc Gasol added 17 points for the Grizzlies, which ensured it will be at least tied with the Spurs in their season series.

Marco Belinelli and Cory Joseph scored 18 apiece for San Antonio, which went 5 of 22 from outside the arc.

Brooklyn ended Chicago’s seven-game winning streak with a 96-82 road win, with Brook Lopez scoring a season-high 29 points.

Lopez, playing his fifth game since returning from a back strain, replaced Kevin Garnett and went 13 for 21 from the field.

Joe Johnson added 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Nets, who recorded only their second win this season against a team with more wins than losses.

Mike Dunleavy led the Bulls with 23 points on 9-for-15 shooting, including 5 of 9 on 3-pointers.

New Orleans beat Phoenix 110-106, snapping the Suns’ six-game streak, with Tyreke Evans scoring 24 points, including eight straight in the final 2 minutes to guide the Pelicans to victory.

Golden State led by a gigantic 47 points before cruising to a 126-86 win over Philadelphia, giving the Warriors their 10th straight home-court win.

Los Angeles’ Kobe Bryant had 23 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds for his 21st career triple-double, leading the Lakers to a 111-103 win at Denver.

Detroit’s Jodie Meeks scored a season-high 34 points off the bench, shooting 9 for 11 on 3-pointers, to lead the Pistons to a 109-86 win at Orlando.

Utah’s Gordon Hayward scored 11 of his 26 points in the final 4 minutes to rally the Jazz to a 100-94 victory over skidding Minnesota.

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