Nicolas Batum tallies triple-double as Blazers edge Clippers
Portland, OR, United States (4E Sports) – Nicolas Batum tallied his second double-double in three games as the Portland Trail Blazers launched a 10-0 attack in the last 2:21 to edge the Los Angeles Clippers, 101-100, for their second straight triumph Saturday at Rose Garden.
Batum collected 20 points, a career-best 12 assists and 10 rebounds as the Blazers drew double-digit scoring from their starters to climb above .500 to 22-21.
Batum is one of four NBA players with more than one triple-double this season. The others are Miami’s LeBron James, Boston’s Rajon Rondo and Toronto’s Jose Calderon.
“To end the game on a 10-0 run was a testament to what we’ve done for most of the season. We don’t quit. We bounce back. We’re resilient,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said after the win.
Damian Lillard also scored 20 markers, Wesley Matthews had 19, JJ Hickson added 15 and LaMarcus Aldridge contributed 12 for the Blazers,
Blake Griffin almost tallied a triple-double, submitting a game-high 24 points, a career-high tying 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Clippers. L.A. matched a season high with a fourth straight loss as injured point guard Chris Paul missed his third game.
Jamal Crawford added 19 points while Eric Bledsoe and Matt Barnes had 11 apiece as the Clippers dropped to 32-13.
Crawford sizzled in the third period, scoring 16 points to help the Clippers erase a 13-point deficit and turned it into a nine-point lead in the dying minutes.
The Blazers sank 4-for-5 3-point attempts to build a 74-61 lead with 4:50 left in the third period.
However, the Clippers 23-foot three-pointer by Crawford sparked a 15-1 run to take a 100-91 advantage with 2:38 remaining in the game.
Lillard then sparked a 10-0 counter-attack with a three-pointer, Hickson added a dunk and two foul shots and Matthews completed a three-point play for a 101-100 lead.
Crawford had a chance to win the game but his 20-foot jumper bounced off the rim as time expired. The Clippers went 0-for-5 with a turnover on their final five possessions.
“I thought it was in. That’s the shot I wanted. I saw the defense behind Nic [Batum]. I got the space I wanted — everything. I thought it was in when I let it go,” Crawford said.