Batum sends Blazers to 89-85 win over 76ers
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — From scoring to rebounding to passing to defense, Nicolas Batum did it all for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Batum had 22 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, Damian Lillard added 20 points and the Blazers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 89-85 on Saturday night for their eighth straight victory at home.
"He's doing what the team needs," Portland coach Terry Stotts said of Batum, "whether it's facilitating or scoring or rebounding."
Batum also shut down Jrue Holiday, who led Philadelphia with 29 points but went 1 of 5 from the field after Batum was switched onto him defensively.
Batum had already silenced Evan Turner (2-of-7 shooting for four points) when he asked Stotts to put him on Holiday in the fourth quarter.
"I kept saying to Coach, 'Let me guard Jrue. He won't get those shots on me. He will not post me up,'" Batum said.
Holiday also had nine assists and nine rebounds for Sixers, who have lost eight of 10. Thaddeus Young, who added 17 points, was his only teammate to have a consistently good night.
Portland led 84-76 late in the game, but Young made two big baskets, including a three-point play to cut the lead to three. Spencer Hawes and Dorell Wright missed 3-pointers for the Sixers, however, and Batum hit three of four free throws to seal it.
Portland was playing for the second consecutive night and was coming off a 104-78 loss at the Los Angeles Lakers. The Sixers were also on a back-to back, having lost 96-89 to Golden State.
"We have to have a game where we're the team that jumps on early and survives a couple runs," Hawes said. "It takes more energy to be on the bottom side of a run trying to come back than it does to hold it."
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