Trail Blazers 111, Pistons 109 (OT)

Dana Gauruder, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Point guard Damian Lillard's spinning shot in the lane in the final second of overtime gave the Portland Trail Blazers a 111-109 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night at The Palace.
Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge led the Trail Blazers with 27 points and 12 rebounds, and Lillard finished with 23 points and seven assists. Small forward Nicolas Batum had 18 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Western Conference-leading Trail Blazers (21-4).
Forward Josh Smith scored a season-high 31 points for the Pistons (11-14). Guard Rodney Stuckey scored 17 points off the bench and power forward Greg Monroe had 17 points and seven rebounds. Point guard Brandon Jennings racked up 15 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists while center Andre Drummond added 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Portland is 10-0 against the Eastern Conference.
Drummond's putback dunk in the final minute of overtime tied it at 107-107. Lillard gave Portland the lead with 24.4 seconds remaining on two free throws, but Stuckey's pullup jumper tied it again.
After a timeout, Lillard drove into the paint for the game-winner.
The Pistons led by 13 early in the fourth quarter, but Aldridge's free throws with 3:48 remaining made it a two-point Detroit lead, 94-92. Smith answered with a three-point play, and Detroit held a slim lead until Blazers guard Wesley Matthews made two free throws with 30.8 seconds left for a 99-99 tie.
Neither team could convert in the remaining seconds, sending the game to overtime.
Smith surpassed his season high by making four hook shots in the third quarter, as the Pistons stretched a one-point halftime advantage to 84-73. Jennings, who was held to two first-half points, contributed eight points and four assists during the quarter as the Pistons outscored Portland 33-23.
Coming into the game, Smith was averaging a career-high 4.4 3-point attempts despite making just 26.9 percent of them. He finally got the message to take the ball to the rim, scoring seven of his eight first-half baskets within five feet of the basket as the Pistons led 51-50 at halftime.
NOTES: Portland reserve C Meyers Leonard served a one-game league suspension handed down earlier in the day. He body-slammed Philadelphia C Daniel Orton during the fourth quarter of the Trail Blazers' 139-105 win on Saturday. ... Pistons PG Will Bynum was active after missing 14 of the previous 16 games with a hamstring injury. ... The Trail Blazers have used the same starting five every game. ... Portland's 20-4 record entering the game was tied for second-best in franchise history. It started 22-2 in 1990-91. ... Detroit guard Chauncey Billups' 89.4 career free-throw percentage is second among active players behind the Los Angeles Lakers' Steve Nash (90.4). ... Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts said the Blazers' franchise-record 21 3-point makes in Philadelphia came within the offensive flow. "I want our guys to shoot open threes," he said. "Of the 21 threes we made, 18 came off a pass. I think they were quality shots." ... The Pistons were leading the NBA with an average of 51.2 points in the paint.