Damian Lilliard

Best of NBA: Trail Blazers storm back from 17-point 4th quarter deficit

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Best of NBA: Trail Blazers storm back from 17-point 4th quarter deficit

WASHINGTON — C.J. McCollum scored 26 points, including seven straight during a 10-0 game-closing run, and the Portland Trail Blazers overcame a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the short-handed Washington Wizards 108-105 on Saturday night.

Damian Lillard scored 29 points for Portland, which won for a second consecutive night on the East Coast in dramatic fashion after a 127-125 victory at Brooklyn on Friday.

Jusuf Nurkick had 17 points and Noah Vonleh grabbed 10 rebounds for the Blazers.

Bradley Beal scored 26 points and Otto Porter added 24 points and 10 rebounds for Washington in the first game of what the team expects to be a two-week stretch without All-Star point guard John Wall (see full recap).

Harden scores 37 for Rockets in win over Knicks
HOUSTON — James Harden had 37 points and 10 assists as the Houston Rockets rallied from an early deficit to beat the New York Knicks 117-102 on Saturday night.

The Rockets erased New York's early 22-point lead by making 18 3-pointers and getting 44 points from their bench, led by 17 from Ryan Anderson.

The Knicks rode hot shooting to build a 29-7 lead midway through the first quarter. The shots eventually stopped falling, turnovers mounted, and the Rockets shot their way back into the game, mostly from long range.

The Knicks led 39-29 at the end of the first quarter, and Houston finally tied the game at 51 on a free throw by Chris Paul in the second quarter. The Knicks led 61-58 at halftime (see full recap).

Irving, Horford lead Celtics to win at Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS — Kyrie Irving scored 25 points and Al Horford added 21 to lead the Boston Celtics to a 108-98 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.

Boston (18-3) outscored Indiana 37-16 in the third quarter to turn a nine-point deficit into an 82-70 lead entering the final quarter. Horford had 12 points during a period that saw Indiana record two three-minute scoring droughts.

Marcus Smart had 15 points and six rebounds for the Celtics. Terry Rozier scored 17 points off the bench.

The Pacers (11-9) were led by Myles Turner, who had 19 points but spent much of the night in foul trouble. Lance Stephenson had 16 points and eight rebounds, and Damontas Sabonis had 17 points and eight boards.

Victor Oladipo, leading Indiana with 22.9 points per game, did not play for the first time this season. He sat with a bruised right knee sustained in Friday's 107-104 win over Toronto (see full recap).

Gasol, Aldridge lead Spurs past cold-shooting Hornets​
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Pau Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge each had 17 points and seven rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs held the Charlotte Hornets to 37 percent shooting in a 106-86 victory on Saturday night.

Rudy Gay added 15 points for the Spurs, who snapped Charlotte's three-game home win streak.

The Hornets entered the game 7-2 at the Spectrum Center, but shot just 22 percent from the field in the first half, fell behind by 11 at halftime and could never make a serious run at the Spurs.

Kemba Walker, who left the game briefly in the third quarter with a left shoulder injury, returned to finish with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting. He didn't get much help as Charlotte's four other starters - Nic Batum, Dwight Howard, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marvin Williams - were a combined 6 of 29 from the field (see full recap).

Sixers-Trail Blazers observations: Smothering defense in win

Sixers-Trail Blazers observations: Smothering defense in win

BOX SCORE

Any time the Trail Blazers are on the schedule, the main objective is limiting the backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. The Sixers held off one, which was enough, in their 101-81 win over the Trail Blazers.

With the victory, the Sixers improved to 10-7 this season and went three games above .500 for the first time since Brett Brown guided the team to a 3-0 start in his first year at the helm. 

• Joel Embiid battled a true center in the 7-foot, 275-pound Jusuf Nurkic. He came up with his eighth double-double of the season: 28 points (11 for 19 from the field), 12 rebounds, and two blocks. Embiid did not get to the free throw line after the first quarter. 

• Lillard scored an unsurprising 30 points, but McCollum netted just five. The pair averaged a combined 47 points heading into the game. McCollum was scoreless in the first half and shot 1 for 14 from the field overall. 

• Ben Simmons finished four seconds shy of a new-career high in playing time. He played 39:03 and neared a triple-double with 16 points (8 for 20 from the field), eight rebounds and nine dimes. Simmons attempted only two free throws. 

• The Sixers took the Blazers out of the game from the start. They ran off with a 16-0 lead and held the Blazers scoreless (0 for 13) for the first seven minutes. (Count the misses here.) The Sixers led 26-14 after one. 

• Lillard scored 12 points in the second quarter to try to get the Blazers back into the game. The Sixers edged them out with balanced scoring among the starters. Even though the Sixers committed 10 turnovers and shot 33.3 percent from three in the first half, their early run was enough to give them a 50-37 lead at halftime. 

• Embiid scored eight points in the third to nearly neutralize Lillard’s nine. The Sixers and Blazers scored 20 points apiece in the quarter. Neither team shot the ball well from three, combining to go 1 for 11. 

• The Blazers’ 81 points were a season low by a Sixers’ opponent and the Trail Blazers’ season-low scoring total. 

• Embiid swatted a Lillard shot attempt all the way back to Portland late in the third. OK, so the ball obviously didn’t go that far, but it was a monster block nonetheless that got me thinking about this moment at shootaround in San Francisco.

• Amir Johnson continued to attack the glass. This time, he balanced his rebounding efforts with five offensive and six defensive boards in 18 minutes off the bench. 

• “Trust the process” took a seat to a new chant late in the game. Fans chanted “We want Okafor” with less than a minute to play and the Sixers up 22. Jahlil Okafor did not get in the game. Furkan Korkmaz, though, played the final 2:09. 

• The Sixers’ turnover problem kept at bay the Trail Blazers’ poor shooting. The Sixers committed 18 turnovers but the Blazers, who shot 33.7 percent from the field, only translated that into 18 points. 

• Injury update: Justin Anderson (left leg), Markelle Fultz (right shoulder) and Nik Stauskas (right ankle) were sidelined for the Sixers. Al-Farouq Aminu (right ankle) was out for Portland. 

• The rosters were filled with former players on either side. The Sixers drafted Turner (2010) and Maurice Harkless (2012). Jerryd Bayless played for the Trail Blazers his first two seasons (2008-10). 

• Speaking of Turner, his days in Philadelphia are long gone but not forgotten. Turner didn’t live up to the expectations of his draft value and so, years later, this happened:

• Rapper Lil Uzi Vert was at the game again.

Best of NBA: Damian Lillard's last-second shot lifts Blazers over Lakers

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Best of NBA: Damian Lillard's last-second shot lifts Blazers over Lakers

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Damian Lillard made a 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left and the Portland Trail Blazers extended their winning streak over the Los Angeles Lakers to 13 games with a 113-110 victory on Thursday night.

Lillard finished with 32 points, and Portland snapped a two-game skid. Jusuf Nurkic added 28 points for Portland.

Brook Lopez had 27 points and rookie Kyle Kuzma added a season-high 22 for the Lakers, who were short-handed after Larry Nance Jr. injured his left hand in the second half. Fellow rookie Lonzo Ball was 0 for 2 from the field with no points, four assists and three rebounds.

There were a few fans in the crowd at Moda Center wearing Ball's No. 2 jersey for his first appearance in Portland. But most fans booed him heartily during player introductions.

Nance was hurt late in the third quarter and went to the locker room. He did not play the rest of the way. Nance was averaging 11.1 points and 7.9 rebounds for the Lakers.

Portland took a 106-105 lead on Lillard's free throws with 1:56 left. Kuzma made a hook shot on the other end, but Lillard answered with a layup before Nurkic made free throws for a 110-107 lead. The standing crowd chanted "Beat LA!"

But Kentavious Caldwell-Pope quieted the fans with a 3-pointer off an assist from Ball to tie it with 15.5 seconds left. Lillard hit the winner over the outstretched arm of Brandon Ingram after letting some time run off the clock. To the roar of the crowd, Lillard pointed to his wrist to indicate "Lillard Time" (see full recap).

Warriors overcome sluggish 1st half to beat Spurs
SAN ANTONIO -- Klay Thompson scored 27 points, Kevin Durant had 24 and the Golden State Warriors overcame a lethargic first half to beat the injury-riddled San Antonio Spurs 112-92 on Thursday night.

Steph Curry added 21 points for Golden State in its first meeting against the Spurs since sweeping the Western Conference finals en route to the NBA title.

The Spurs played without Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker, as they did in the conference finals. Unlike those blowout victories, Golden State struggled to close out San Antonio.

Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and 10 rebounds, continuing his resurgent season. Kyle Anderson added 16 points in place of Leonard, whose return from an injured right quadriceps is still undetermined.

The Warriors took their first lead two minutes into the third quarter at 60-57 on Durant's 3-pointer.

Aldridge and Pau Gasol took and made the Spurs' first two 3-pointers. The Spurs made four of their first six 3-pointers in running to a 22-12 lead. San Antonio led 31-12 lead after Golden State went scoreless for 4 1/2 minutes midway through the opening period.

Golden State slowly cut into the lead behind its defense. After shooting 48 percent in the first quarter, the Spurs were held to 33 percent in the second quarter. San Antonio was 1 for 5 on 3-pointers and 7 for 21 overall in the second quarter.

The Spurs finished 7 for 24 on 3-pointers, failing to make a 3 in the second half after draining six in the opening quarter (see full recap).