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Aldridge fuels late run as Blazers down Cavs

Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - LaMarcus Aldridge had 32 points and 18 rebounds to carry the Portland Trail Blazers to a 108-96 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.

The score was knotted late at 96-apiece when Aldridge put the team on his back with a personal 6-0 run. Wes Matthews and Damian Lillard followed with 3- pointers to seal the outcome.

"I was very please with our defense, for the most part throughout the game but particularly in the fourth quarter," Portland head coach Terry Stotts said. "We did a nice job of protecting the rim and forcing mid-range shots."

Lillard netted 28 points, Matthews added 15 and Nicolas Batum registered seven points, nine rebounds and six assists in the Blazers' third straight win.

Luol Deng led the Cavs in scoring for the second straight tilt with 25 points, while Kyrie Irving dropped 21 points in the setback. Dion Waiters chipped in 18 off the bench as Cleveland fell to 4-4 in January.

"You have to give LaMarcus Aldridge credit," Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown said. "He hit some tough shots down the stretch, they came up with a couple of tough rebounds, for kick-out threes and it kind of discombobulated us a little bit when they scored."

The final margin was Portland's biggest of the back-and-forth affair, which featured 15 ties and 13 lead changes.

The Blazers led 54-50 at halftime but failed to build on it, as Irving and Tristan Thompson scored the first four points of the second half to tie it.

Cleveland ended up pulling in front by as many as six on Deng's short jumper at 2:19 of the third, and Portland scored the final eight points of the period, including Aldridge's turn-around jumper at the horn, to pull in front by two heading into the fourth.

Waiters tied it at 88-all midway through the final frame. After Deng made 1- of-2 at the line and Robin Lopez finished a short hook to give the hosts a one-point edge, Batum back-tapped a missed Aldridge jumper right to Lillard at the top of the key. His quick trigger three extended Portland's lead to 93-89 with under five minutes left.

Anderson Varejao's tip-in capped a brief 7-3 Cavs run and tied it at 96-all before Aldridge took over down the stretch. He followed a pair of free throws with a deep jumper and a driving lefty layup for a 102-96 Portland edge with 1:28 to play.

Aldridge then pulled down a rebound on Irving's missed corner three, and Matthews and Lillard canned threes on Portland's next two trips to put it away.

Game Notes

The Blazers swept the season-series and they've now beaten Cleveland in six of seven ... Portland improved to 15-2 against the Eastern Conference this season ... Thompson had 10 points and 10 boards.

01/16 02:19:44 ET

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Standings

2013 - 2014 Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Toronto 48 34 .585 --- 26-15 22-19 32-20 L 1
x-Brooklyn 44 38 .537 4 28-13 16-25 26-26 L 2
New York 37 45 .451 11 19-22 18-23 26-26 W 4
Boston 25 57 .305 23 16-25 9-32 21-31 L 2
Philadelphia 19 63 .232 29 10-31 9-32 14-38 W 2
 
Central W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Indiana 56 26 .683 --- 35-6 21-20 38-14 W 2
x-Chicago 48 34 .585 8 27-14 21-20 35-17 L 1
Cleveland 33 49 .402 23 19-22 14-27 21-31 W 1
Detroit 29 53 .354 27 17-24 12-29 23-29 L 4
Milwaukee 15 67 .183 41 10-31 5-36 12-40 L 3
 
Southeast W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Miami 54 28 .659 --- 32-9 22-19 34-18 L 3
x-Washington 44 38 .537 10 22-19 22-19 33-19 W 4
x-Charlotte 43 39 .524 11 25-16 18-23 30-22 W 3
x-Atlanta 38 44 .463 16 24-17 14-27 28-24 W 1
Orlando 23 59 .280 31 19-22 4-37 17-35 L 4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
2013 - 2014 Western Conference Standings
 
Northwest W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-Oklahoma City 59 23 .720 --- 34-7 25-16 36-16 W 1
x-Portland 54 28 .659 5 31-10 23-18 31-21 W 5
Minnesota 40 42 .488 19 24-17 16-25 23-29 L 3
Denver 36 46 .439 23 22-19 14-27 20-32 L 2
Utah 25 57 .305 34 16-25 9-32 13-39 W 1
 
Pacific W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-LA Clippers 57 25 .695 --- 34-7 23-18 36-16 L 1
x-Golden State 51 31 .622 6 27-14 24-17 31-21 W 2
Phoenix 48 34 .585 9 26-15 22-19 28-24 W 1
Sacramento 28 54 .341 29 17-24 11-30 15-37 L 1
LA Lakers 27 55 .329 30 14-27 13-28 15-37 W 2
 
Southwest W L PCT GB Home Away Conf Streak
y-San Antonio 62 20 .756 --- 32-9 30-11 38-14 L 2
x-Houston 54 28 .659 8 33-8 21-20 31-21 L 1
x-Memphis 50 32 .610 12 27-14 23-18 29-23 W 5
x-Dallas 49 33 .598 13 26-15 23-18 29-23 L 1
New Orleans 34 48 .415 28 22-19 12-29 15-37 W 2
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
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CLE 5
KAN 0
 
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3rd
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CWS 1
 
2nd
TAM 0
MIN 3
 
3rd
NYM 0
STL 0
 
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MIN
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SJS
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
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