PORTLAND, Ore. -- Often when a team is wrapping up a trip on the opposite coast, one that has lasted quite some time like the 10-day trip the Sixers were concluding in Portland Saturday night, the players are at the arena but mentally have boarded the plane.
That was not the case for Brett Brown’s Sixers. They jumped out to a 20-4 lead but were tied at 92 with 1:17 to play. Moments later, the Sixers had their fourth win in a row -- barely -- by a score of 101-99.
Lavoy Allen turned the ball over underneath the Portland basket with 5.4 seconds to go and the Sixers up by two, but Damian Lillard missed what would have been the game-tying layup as time expired.
Just before the second half started, the Blazers put the end of the Eagles-Saints game on the big screen. Brown watched as the Saints kicked the game-winning field goal. He shook his head in disappointment, knowing his friend Chip Kelly’s exciting first season had come to an end.
Thaddeus Young’s hook shot with 1:10 to play gave the Sixers a 94-92 lead. After Robin Lopez tied the game with two made free throws, Young came through again by tipping in a Michael Carter-Williams miss with 36.2 seconds remaining to put the Sixers back up, 96-94.
Follow the leader
LaMarcus Aldridge gives plenty of reasons to have his name in the MVP conversation. Aldridge had 29 points and 14 rebounds. Lopez also had a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds.
Mo Williams came off Portland’s bench to score 16 points.
Young scored 30 points. Evan Turner finished with 23 while Carter-Williams had 16 points and nine rebounds but was just 5 of 16 from the floor.
The last time the Sixers and Blazers met, Portland made 21 three-pointers, twice as many as it averages on the season.
Portland is the best three-point shooting team in the NBA, connecting on 41 percent from behind the arc coming into Saturday night. However, the Sixers limited the Blazers to 3 of 22 from distance.
The Sixers were not much better, making just 4 of 14 long-range shots.
Take a bow
Portland cleaned up on the glass. The Blazers outrebounded the Sixers, 59-43.
The Sixers will play their first game at the Wells Fargo Center since Dec. 20 on Monday against the Timberwolves.
Minnesota beat the Sixers, 106-99, in early December. The Sixers led 86-81 in the fourth quarter before the Timberwolves went on a 10-0 run and never looked back.