AUBURN HILLS, MI – Portland guard Damian Lillard was well defended by Detroit’s Rodney Stuckey, but after driving down the lane, spinning and fading away, Lillard dropped in the game-winner on Sunday night, leading the visiting Trail Blazers to a 111-109 overtime victory at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
“They told me that I was going to have to make a double move to get anything off,” Lillard explained. “(Stuckey) blocked my first move, and I knew he wouldn’t let me get to the basket, so I just spun off my other shoulder and put up a fadeaway.”
Detroit (11-14) lead by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter, but faltered offensively during the game’s final minutes, allowing Portland (21-4) to force overtime.
“If this doesn’t stink, I don’t know what does,” Pistons forward Josh Smith said. “When I was in Atlanta and we were young and we were in a lot of ballgames, but late down the stretch we couldn’t figure it out — and then later we turned the corner.”
Smith led the Pistons with 31 points on 13 of 17 shooting and added seven rebounds and four assists. It was Smith’s most efficient offensive performance in his first season in Detroit. Stuckey and Greg Monroe added 17 points each and Brandon Jennings had 15 points and a team-high 10 assists.
LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 27 points and added 12 rebounds. Lillard scored 23 and dished out seven assists, and Robin Lopez grabbed a team-high 13 rebounds.
Detroit outscored Portland 68 to 42 in the paint. The teams combined to shoot 10 of 41 from 3-point range (24.3 percent).
The Pistons travel to Indiana on Monday and to Boston on Wednesday. The Trail Blazers play at Cleveland on Tuesday and at Minnesota on Wednesday.