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Blazers blow big lead, but top Raptors

Feb 2, 2014 - 8:14 AM Portland, OR ( - Portland coughed up a 16-point fourth quarter lead, but LaMarcus Aldridge tallied 27 points with 15 rebounds and Damian Lillard's running bank shot with 11.9 seconds left proved to be the game-winner as the Trail Blazers survived with a 106-103 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Portland led 98-82 with 7:42 remaining after a Wesley Matthews triple, but managed just four points over the next 7 1/2 minutes while Toronto made its charge. DeMar DeRozan, who scored 14 of his game-high 36 points in the fourth, gave the Raptors their first lead of the contest when he made two free throws after drawing a foul on Matthews with 25.4 ticks to play.

Out of a timeout, Lillard drove right and banked in a floater to restore Portland's lead. DeRozan then got tied up with Matthews, won the ensuing jump ball but turned it over late, as Nicolas Batum hit a pair of free throws with 0.1 seconds left to result in the final margin.

Lillard and Matthews netted 21 points apiece to help Portland snap a two-game losing skid, while Batum scored 18.

"We played defense. We contested shots," Aldridge said. "DeRozan made some great shots and that's why he's an All Star this year. He made great reads in the pick and roll of finding [Patrick] Patterson open for the jump shot. He was big time down the stretch."

Kyle Lowry donated 23 points and eight assists in the setback. Jonas Valanciunas had 18 points, Patterson added 13 and a team-high nine boards in a reserve role and DeRozan handed out a career-high 12 assists.

"We understand what we had to do, honestly," DeRozan said. "We understand we were down big and the only way we would get back in this game was to get stops and that's what we started doing. That was the main part. We were missing a lot of easy shots that we normally make, but we don't worry about that. The only thing we worry about is the defensive game and we picked it up in the second half."

DeRozan was responsible for 22 of 26 baskets in the second half, notching 12 field goals and 10 helpers as Toronto nearly completed the comeback. It was 57-40 at halftime, and the Blazers looked well on their way to winning in blowout fashion.

But the resilient Raptors turned it on midway through the third, cutting a 19- point deficit to just five after a DeRozan three-point play with 1:27 left in the period.

Portland restored its double digit lead early in the fourth on Matthews' trey. The lead appeared safe when Aldridge slammed home an alley-oop from Batum at 5:01 for a 102-92 edge.

The Blazers then went without a bucket from that point on until Lillard's winner, while DeRozan's 10-footer sparked an 11-0 Raptors run. Patterson knocked down consecutive mid-range jumpers and Lowry added a 3-pointer during the spurt, which DeRozan capped with his free throws.

Earlier, Aldridge registered a double-double in the first quarter with 12 points and 11 boards to help Portland to a 31-19 lead after the opening frame.

Game Notes

The Blazers shot 28-of-35 from the free throw line ... Portland has won two straight over the Raptors and 10 of 11 ... Patterson outscored Portland's bench by himself. The Blazers reserves had just three field goals for 11 points.