Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge led the Portland Trail Blazers to a narrow 116-112 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in a contest pitting two of the best teams in the Western Conference.
Aldridge, who had been on an all-soup diet for four days after having his wisdom teeth removed on Sunday, tallied 32 points and 10 rebounds and led a group of six Blazers players in double figures, including all five starters, Thursday night at the Moda Center in Portland.
The game was in the balance with under a minute left in overtime, but Portland pulled away with a field goal by Aldridge and clutch shooting from the free-throw line by point guard Damian Lillard and shooting guard Wesley Matthews.
French small forward Nicolas Batum and Matthews scored 19 points each, while Lillard added 14 and center Robin Lopez contributed 11 points and 15 rebounds.
Mo Williams also came off the bench to score 12 points for Portland.
The Trail Blazers again imposed their will under boards, grabbing 60 rebounds to the Clippers' 48.
The Clippers, however, did a better job of hanging on to the ball, committing a miniscule five turnovers in 53 minutes of action while the Blazers lost the ball 16 times.
That gave Los Angeles a big edge in field-goal attempts for the game - 110-96 - but Portland was able to make up for it by making five more 3-pointers and 13 more free throws.
Chris Paul was the star for the Clippers, scoring 34 points and dishing out 16 assists, while power forward Blake Griffin scored 35 points and hauled down 11 rebounds.
The Blazers improved to 24-5, the best mark in the entire NBA, while the Clippers fell to 20-11 and are currently tied for fourth in the Western Conference standings. EFE