PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Just when it appeared Portland was cruising to a victory that would avoid its first three-game losing streak of the season, Toronto's DeMar DeRozan put a scare into the Trail Blazers.
Holding a 16-point lead with 7:41 remaining, Portland suddenly had to mount a rally of its own, hitting four free throws during the final 11.8 seconds to pull out a 106-103 win Saturday night.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and 15 rebounds and Damian Lillard hit a go-ahead free throw with 11.8 seconds left to help end the Blazers' two-game losing streak.
Lillard and Wesley Matthews scored 21 points apiece for Portland and Nicolas Batum added 18.
DeRozan was a one-man wrecking crew down the stretch, scoring 30 of his 36 points during the second half. DeRozan, who also had 12 assists, scored 16 points during the third quarter and 14 in the fourth.
The fourth-year All-Star guard had a hand in 22 of Toronto's 26 second-half baskets, with 12 field goals and 10 assists.
Kyle Lowry added 23 points for Toronto.
The dramatic win helped Portland end its worst offensive slump of the season. The Blazers, the NBA's top scoring team at 108.4 points, came into Saturday having scored season lows of 81 and 88 points in their past two games.
Aldridge said there wasn't a sense of relief despite the hair-raising finish.
"We know that we had control from the beginning so it was just about staying solid the whole game and trying to close it out. We did that," Aldridge said.
Matthews said after losing back-to-back games, to Golden State and Memphis, "this was a must-win game, and that was the sense of urgency we took into shootaround and the urgency we start the game with."
DeRozan and the Raptors nearly spoiled Portland's breakout game. Trailing 57-40 at halftime and by as many as 19 points during the second half, Toronto made a prolonged charge at Portland.
During the third quarter, the Raptors got as close as six points before Portland hit four 3-pointers during a four-minute stretch to regain a double-digit lead. Then DeRozan led Toronto on a fourth-quarter rally, when a 16-2 run over a five-minute stretch gave the Raptors a 103-102 lead on two free throws by DeRozan.
"He was voted an All-Star for a reason. He's capable of getting hot and carrying a team," Portland coach Terry Stotts said.
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