Rally falls short, Blazers lose to Suns 102-98

Credit: NBAE/Getty Images

PORTLAND, OR - FEBRUARY 19: Head Coach Terry Stotts of the Portland Trail Blazers speaks with Damian Lillard #0 during a game against the Phoenix Suns on February 19, 2013 at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)

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by Associated Press

kgw.com

Posted on February 19, 2013 at 11:53 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 20 at 12:18 PM

 PORTLAND, Ore. -- Goran Dragic had 16 points and a career-high 18 assists and the Phoenix Suns snapped a four-game losing streak with a 102-98 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.

Wesley Johnson came off the bench to score a season-high 14 points for the Suns, who led by as many as 19 points and survived a late Portland rally. J.J. Hickson had 25 points and 16 rebounds for his 28th double-double of the season for the Blazers, who lost their sixth straight to match their season-high.

The Blazers pulled to within 96-92 on rookie Damian Lillard's 3-pointer with 3:57 left in the game. Marcin Gortat's dunk and Luis Scola's layup slowed the rally, but Nicolas Batum made a 3-pointer to close the Blazers within 100-95 with 2:35 to go.

Nolan Smith made a free throw and LaMarcus Aldridge added two more with 20.5 seconds left to make it 100-98. After Dragic made a pair of free throws for the Suns, Lillard's 3-point attempt fell short as time wound down.

Portland was without starting shooting guard Wesley Matthews because of a sprained left ankle and elbow that he hurt in the first quarter of Portland's 99-63 loss to New Orleans just before the All-Star break.

The trade deadline is Thursday. Last season at the deadline the Blazers fired coach Nate McMillan and traded away both Gerald Wallace and Marcus Camby. This season most trade talk is about Hickson, who must agree to any deal.

Notes: Portland had won the last seven games against the Suns at the Rose Garden.... Hickson's 28 double-doubles match his career high for a season.

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