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Blazers slip past Magic, improve to 5-0 in OT

The SportsXchange

PORTLAND, Ore. -- When a game goes into overtime, "that's when we think the game is ours," Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum said.

It was that way again Monday night in the Rose Garden as the Trail Blazers used a 10-point run in the extra session to pull away from the Orlando Magic for a 125-119 victory.

It was the 10th win in 13 games for the Trail Blazers (19-15). Portland is an NBA-best 5-0 this season in games that have gone into overtime.

"We won one time, two times, three times in a row," said Batum, who scored 12 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and extra session. "Now, when we get into overtime, we feel like we are going to win. That's just confidence."

Portland had four players with double-doubles -- LaMarcus Aldridge (27 points, 10 rebounds), J.J. Hickson (20 points, 15 boards), Damian Lillard (18 points, 10 assists) and Batum (16 points, 10 assists).

J.J. Redick came off the bench to score 29 points for Orlando (12-22), which lost its ninth consecutive game. Arron Affalo (24 points), Jameer Nelson (21 points, 12 assists), Nikola Vucevic (17 points, 13 rebounds) and Josh McRoberts (12 points, six rebounds, eight assists) all had big games for the Magic.

Lillard was in the middle of the 10-0 run that gave Portland a 122-112 lead in overtime. The rookie point guard started the spurt with consecutive baskets, then set up first Hickson, then Matthews for fast-break dunks. When Aldridge sank two foul shots, the Blazers led by 10 and the Magic were goners.

"We didn't get the win, but we came and put our work in," first-year Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn said. "Our effort was unbelievable. Tough loss, but our guys did some amazing things tonight. They deserved to win that game."

Orlando led 61-50 early in the third quarter before Lillard fueled a 15-4 surge that tied the game at 65-65, and the battle was on.

Redick scored seven straight points to start the fourth quarter, staking Orlando to a 92-87 lead. The Magic were still on top 97-93 when Matthews and Batum buried back-to-back 3-pointers to finish an 8-0 run and give Portland a 101-97 edge with three minutes remaining.

Consecutive baskets by Vujecic drew Orlando to within 106-105 with 19 seconds to play. Batum made two free throws with 16.8 seconds left to hike the margin to 108-105.

After a timeout, Nelson sank a 3-pointer, and the game was tied 108-108 with 8.9 seconds to go.

"I had a good look, and it was a great play Coach (Vaughn) drew up," Nelson said.

After another timeout, the Blazers got the ball to Lillard, whose shot from top of the key missed, and it was on to overtime.

"You get down 11, there's no telling how that game's going to turn out," said Portland's Wesley Matthews, who scored 24 points on 7-for-11 shooting, including 4-for-7 from 3-point range. "With the recent streak we've been on and our record as of late, we have a confidence and a swagger about us. We're accustomed to winning.

"We think we're going to win every game. That's the mentality you have to have in this league."

NOTES: Hickson posted his 20th double-double of the season, while Aldridge had his 14th. For Hickson, it was his 10th straight double-double at home. ... The last time four Blazers recorded double-doubles in a game was April 1998. ... Portland has won eight straight games at the Rose Garden. ... Aldridge had his car rear-ended on the drive to the Rose Garden tonight. Aldridge was fine, if a little shaken, as there was some significant damage to the car. "It was the other guy's fault," Aldridge said. ... The Blazers got word Monday that rookie center Meyers Leonard, who has missed the past four games with a sprained right ankle, probably will be out for another couple of weeks. "It was more than a tweak," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "Sprains can last a long time. It's a setback for him and for us to not have him out there. He's young; he'll bounce back. It's just disappointing that it happened." ... Injuries to Orlando's top three forwards -- Al Harrington, Glen Davis and Hedo Turkoglu -- for significant portions of the season have contributed to the Magic's losing streak. Harrington (knee) has missed the entire season. Davis (shoulder) has been out the past eight games. Turkoglu (hand) has been back the past four games after fracturing his left hand Nov. 2 against Denver. He was held scoreless in five minutes Monday.
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