Portland beats Suns 96-93 for fifth straight win

Portland beats Suns 96-93 for fifth straight win
December 23, 2012, 12:48 am
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Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum, right, from France, shoots over Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat, from Poland, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

(APWF)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) J.J. Hickson had 19 points and 15 rebounds for his seventh straight double-double, and the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night for their fifth straight win.

Rookie Damian Lillard had 25 points, including 18 in the second half.

Sasha Pavolic and Lillard made consecutive 3-pointers as Portland pulled in front 92-85 with 4:02 left. The Suns got to within 94-91 on Marcin Gortat's layup with 1:24 to go.

After Lillard's 19-foot, step-back jumper, Jared Dudley had a layup for the Suns to make it 96-93. Phoenix furiously tried to get a shot off in the final seconds, but Goran Dragic missed a 3-pointer, and Shannon Brown missed a short jumper.

Gortat had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Suns, who led by as many as 12 points in the first half. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for Phoenix.