Lillard scores 41, Blazers beat Pelicans
NEW ORLEANS — Damian Lillard scored 20 of his 41 points in the fourth quarter, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the New Orleans Pelicans 107-103 on Tuesday night.
Lillard hit his first six shots of the fourth quarter, including two 3-pointers, to push Portland into its first lead since early in the first quarter. He made two free throws with 1.3 seconds left to seal the victory.
Anthony Davis had 36 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks for the Pelicans, with 22 points coming after he rolled his right ankle and briefly came out of the game with 5:15 left in the third quarter. Jrue Holiday had 21 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds for New Orleans.
Davis and Holiday nearly helped the Pelicans avoid a second straight loss. After Holiday’s block on Pat Connaughton with 20 seconds left, New Orleans wound up with two shots to tie or lead, but both of E’Twaun Moore’s 3-point attempts rimmed out. The Blazers failed to rebound the first, but Connaughton corralled the second miss with 2 seconds left and quickly got the ball to Lillard, who was fouled.
Jusuf Nurkic had 21 points and 10 rebounds for Portland, highlighted by his putback of C.J. McCollum’s miss while being fouled by Moore with 3:55 left to give the Blazers a 96-95 lead. Evan Turner scored 14 points for the Blazers, who further strengthened their hold on third place in the Western Conference.
Al Farouq Aminu had 10 points and 10 rebounds, including a crucial putback of Lillard’s miss with 28 seconds left to make it 105-101.
New Orleans led by single digits most of the first half and by as many as 11 twice in the third quarter, the last time on Davis’ 9-foot floater with 7:41 left in the period. But by late in the quarter, the Blazers were down just two after Shabazz Napier’s 3.
Trail Blazers: Starting F Maurice Harkless was scratched from the lineup with left knee soreness. It was the 16th game he’s missed this season. The Blazers announced after the game that Harkless would undergo arthroscopic surgery Wednesday in Portland to remove a loose body in his left knee. … The Blazers have scored 100 or more in 17 straight. … Portland won its seventh straight on the road. … McCollum missed 16 of 19 shots, going 1 of 6 from 3-point range, and finished with seven points. … Portland was 10 of 32 on 3s.
Pelicans: Starting G Rajon Rondo, who missed New Orleans’ loss at Houston on Saturday with a sprained right wrist, was scratched from his second straight game shortly before tip-off. … Moore had 11 points. … F Solomon Hill played a season-high 21 minutes in his fifth game back from offseason hamstring surgery. He finished with nine points, four assists and three rebounds. … Holiday had two blocks in the game, both in the fourth quarter, including one from behind on Lillard.
Trail Blazers: Visit Memphis on Wednesday night.
Pelicans: Visit Cleveland on Friday night.
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