Trail Blazers 118, Bobcats 112 (OT)

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Portland Trail Blazers pulled off a remarkable comeback on Monday night, rallying from an 18-point deficit in the final six minutes of regulation and beating the Charlotte Bobcats 118-112 in overtime.
The Trail Blazers trailed 92-74 with 5:17 left in the fourth quarter before erupting to outscore Charlotte 28-10 to close out regulation. They tied the game at 102-102 on a 3-pointer by Luke Babbitt with 22.8 seconds left, then got into overtime when Charlotte's Kemba Walker missed a jumper from the side at the regulation buzzer.
In overtime, Babbitt's 3-pointer with 1:45 remaining gave the Blazers a working margin at 110-106, and the Blazers pushed the lead up to seven from there.
The victory allowed Portland (8-10) to win for the second time in three days on this seven-game Eastern road trip.
The Bobcats (7-9) lost their fourth straight. They were looking to surpass last season's entire win total, when they were an NBA-record-worst 7-59.
LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 25 points and 13 rebounds, and Damian Lillard scored 24. The Blazers also got 19 points from Wesley Matthews, and 17 points and 13 rebounds from Nicolas Batum. Babbitt finished with nine.
The Bobcats also got 29 points and a franchise-record eight 3-pointers from Ben Gordon, who keyed an 18-0 surge late in the third quarter and early in the fourth that seemingly put the Bobcats in control. The Bobcats also got 22 points from Walker, 12 from Byron Mullens and 11 from Jeffery Taylor.
The Bobcats welcomed back Gerald Henderson, who had been out since suffering a strained left foot in the second game of the season. Henderson played 15 minutes and finished with five points.
The Bobcats led 54-51 at halftime after pouncing on the Blazers early.
The Bobcats raced to a 20-6 lead six minutes into the game behind the shooting of Walker, who had 10 first-quarter points. Portland cut the margin to 34-26 at the end of one, but the Bobcats were hot throughout, shooting 72.2 percent from the field (13 of 18) in the quarter.
The Blazers continued to chip away at the lead and got as close as 45-44 in the final minute of the half.
Walker had 17 points at intermission, Matthews 12 for Portland and Aldridge 11.
Henderson had missed the previous 13 games, after being injured on Nov. 3 at Dallas.
Coach Mike Dunlap chose to keep rookie Jeffery Taylor in the starting lineup with Henderson coming off the bench, and said that he would work Henderson back into the rotation slowly.
"If we can do it our way, it'll be little bites of the apple," Dunlap said. "I've made that mistake before and put a guy right back in and it's never worked for me, so through my errors I have learned to just ease the guy back in."
The Bobcats played without Tyrus Thomas, who is out for about two months with a strained left calf.
The Bobcats will close out a three-game homestand on Wednesday night against New York. Portland will finish its seven-game Eastern road trip on Wednesday at Indiana.
Notes: The Blazers were 1-4 on this road trip going into Monday's game, losing at Brooklyn, Detroit, Washington and Boston before edging Cleveland 118-117 in double overtime on Saturday. ... The Blazers snapped the skid when Batum hit a 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds remaining in the second overtime at Cleveland. ... The Blazers took Sunday off completely after arriving in Charlotte. ... Gordon had come off the bench to lead the Bobcats in scoring in their two previous games and entered the game with 9,977 career points, just 23 shy of joining the 10,000-point club. ... The Bobcats were 6-1 in games decided by four points or less entering Monday's action. ... Walker was leading the Bobcats in scoring at 16.3 and was fifth in the NBA in steals. ... Aldridge was Portland's leading scorer coming into the game at 20.6, seventh in the league. ... Lillard led all NBA rookies in scoring at 17.7 before Monday. The Weber State product also led all NBA point guards with 10 games of 20 points or more.

What to Read Next