Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge hits game-winner to beat Mavericks
By Ben Golliver
PORTLAND, Ore. — Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge capped a 21-point comeback with a game-winning turnaround jumper at the buzzer to defeat the Mavericks 106-104 in Portland on Tuesday night.
Aldridge scored five points in the final five seconds, including his first three of the season, to deliver the home victory. The Blazers set up their final possession on a sideline inbounds play with 1.5 seconds remaining in regulation and the score tied at 104. Aldridge received the inbounds pass just outside the left block, turning towards the baseline to fire the turnaround calmly over the outstretched arm of Brandan Wright. The shot dropped through as the buzzer sounded.
“This is what you live for,” Aldridge said of his game-winner. “That one felt great. That one felt real easy.”
Aldridge broke into a wide grin as the shot went through and he was immediately mobbed by his teammates.
“He was smiling like a rookie,” Blazers forward Nicolas Batum said. “He was happy, it was a big shot by L.A. … He is a go-to guy, he’s one of the best.”
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle watched his team concede a 10-3 run in the final 52 seconds.
“We had our longest guy on him,” Carlisle said of Wright defending Aldridge. “But he made a better play.”
Selected to his second consecutive All-Star Game last week, Aldridge finished with a game-high 29 points and 13 rebounds.
“He didn’t have to make that shot to prove he’s an All-Star,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “He proves it every night.”
The Mavericks were left feeling a rotten sense of deja vu. Aldridge hit a game-winning buzzer-beater to top the Mavericks in Dallas in April 2012. Video of that shot is below.