The Portland Trail Blazers had 7.1 seconds left to score the game-winning bucket against the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday.
Trailing 101-100, Portland went to its go-to man LaMarcus Aldridge.
Aldridge, who had 18 first-half points, received the ball in the post with Spencer Hawes draped on him, he maneuvered into the paint, he spun back the opposite direction and he threw up the 16-footer.
But it missed, snapping their two-game streak and dropping the opener of a five-game road trip.
Aldridge, who was named the NBA’s Western Conference Player of the Week, finished with a game-high 32 points and saved his team with a last-second three-pointer that brought the Trail Blazers (31-35) within 99-97 with 17 seconds left.
Jrue Holiday led Philadelphia, which gave up a 14-point lead, with 27 points. He made two free throws that gave the Sixers (26-40) a 101-97 lead with 13 seconds.
Damian Lillard‘s three-pointer tied the game at 82 and he connected from 3-range for a second time, bringing Portland within one with 7.1 seconds.
On the ensuing play, the Sixers turned over the inbounds pass to Holiday, who tripped over his teammate’s foot and fell to the floor. Thaddeus Young‘s pass flew out of bounds, giving possession to Portland that set up the final shot.
Young finished with 19 points, Spencer Hawes recorded 18 points and 13 rebounds, Dorell Wright had 16 and Damien Wilkins added 12 for Philadelphia, which has won two straight following its victory over the Indiana Pacer on Saturday.
The Sixers had their shot going early, finishing with a 50 percent mark, but saw a 14-point lead dissolve after going cold in the final three minutes of the third quarter.
After completing a 12-4 run capped by Young’s jumper that put them up 78-64, Philadelphia cooled off, missing their final four shots of the third.
That’s when the Trail Blazers finally got in rhythm with Lillard’s 3-pointer that sparked an 8-0 run to come within 78-72 going into the fourth.
After starting three quarters on a slow pace, Portland finally got out quick. The Trail Blazers erased the six-point deficit with a 10-4 run.
Portland went with the small lineup of Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Eric Maynor, Luke Babbitt and Meyers Leonard to run with the Sixers’ quick transition offense. Maynor and Lillard hit from three-point range to tie the game at 82.
Holiday’s three and jumper put the Sixers up by five, but Babbitt answered with his own 3-pointer and Matthews dropped in a floater to even the score at 87. Babbitt and Matthews each finished with six points.
Babbitt’s three-pointer gave the Trail Blazers a three-point edge. Young answered with a layup, but Aldridge’s layup gave Portland a 92-89 lead with 4:01 in the fourth.
That’s when the roles reversed and the Trail Blazers hit a cold patch, missing their next five shots. Jumpers from Wilkins, Holiday, Hawes and Young gave Philadelphia the 97-92 edge in the final minute of regulation.
Nicolas Batum had nine points, but was 3 of 8 from downtown for the Trail Blazers, who opened a five-game road trip.
Aldridge shot 7 of 10 in the first half, scoring 16 of his 18 points in the first quarter. Portland shot 3 of 10 to open the game, but managed to grab a one-point lead before Philly hot shooting took a 32-28 lead.
The Sixers gained an 38-28 lead on a 6-0 run to start the second quarter.
Portland, which was 38 of 90 shooting, had trouble finding offense outside of Aldridge and Lillard. The Trail Blazers first field goal of the second quarter came on a layup from Matthews at the 7:37 mark to trail 41-34.
Lillard’s jumper brought Portland within 51-46. But Philadelphia pushed its lead back to 10 with back-to-back buckets from Young and a free throw from Moultrie before ending the first half with a 58-50 lead.
The Trail Blazers will travel to Milwaukee to face the Bucks (33-32) tomorrow in a back to back.