Randolph, Portland edge slumping Cleveland
Portland, OR (Sports Network) – Zach Randolph scored 16 points and hit two key
free throws with 47 seconds remaining as Portland edged slumping Cleveland,
89-87, at the Rose Garden.
Ruben Patterson compiled 16 points and seven rebounds while rookie Jarrett
Jack contributed 11 points off the bench to help the Trail Blazers match a
season-best with their third consecutive victory.
Cleveland’s LeBron James topped all players with 29 points, but only seven of
them came after halftime. The All-Star guard added 13 rebounds in the loss,
the Cavaliers’ fourth in a row.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas netted 27 points on 10-of-11 shooting for Cleveland, which
rallied from an 11-point deficit early in the final quarter before faltering
down the stretch.
Portland built an 80-70 lead after Randolph ended a 9-3 run to start the
fourth quarter by draining an outside jumper. That basket, which came with
8:52 left to play, would be Portland’s last until nearly the two-minute mark.
The shooting drought allowed the Cavs to climb back. After Alan Henderson
drove the lane and scored to bring the visitors within one, James buried a
three-pointer with 3:10 left to put Cleveland up 84-83.
Portland’s Juan Dixon then buried a triple a minute later to send the Blazers
back in front, but Ilgauskas scored on the other end to tie the game at 86-86.
Randolph drew a foul from Henderson with 47 seconds left and made both shots
to break the tie, but Patterson hacked Eric Snow shortly afterward. Snow,
however, made just 1-of-2 from the line.
Neither team made a field goal over the final seconds. Patterson gave
Cleveland a chance when he made just 1-of-2 free throws with 15 seconds to go,
but Snow misfired a 21-footer at the final buzzer.
An 8-0 run late in the first half, capped by back-to-back baskets by
Patterson, gave Portland a seven-point lead with under a minute to go before
intermission. Cleveland cut its deficit to 51-46 at the half when Damon Jones
knocked down a jumper right before the buzzer.
The game remained tight during the third quarter. The Cavaliers opened the
second half with a 13-2 burst, with Ilgauskas recording six of those points,
to build a 59-53 advantage, but went cold over the final five minutes of the
Trailing 64-60, Patterson hit a short jumper and Dixon converted a three-point
play to send Portland in front with 4:16 left in the third. The baskets began
an 11-2 run that gave the Blazers a 71-66 lead late in the period.
James poured in 18 first-quarter points and the Cavs held a 30-27 edge at the
period’s end. However, the Trail Blazers started out the second strongly and
took a 36-35 lead when Jack fed Patterson for a transition basket. A three-
pointer by Sebastian Telfair less than four minutes into the frame extended
the margin to four.
James made 7-of-10 field goal attempts over the first 12 minutes but went just
3-of-16 the rest of the way.
Portland also won three straight from December 23-28…James is averaging 34.7
points during the Cavaliers’ current slide…Cleveland is 0-3 on its current
five-game road trip and is 6-10 away from home this year…Dixon finished with
10 points and has reached double figures in each of his last 14
games…Cleveland has lost in six of its last seven visits to the Rose Garden.