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Damian Lillard hits the game-winner to send Blazers past Hornets (VIDEO)

Damian Lillard, Ryan Anderson, Greivis Vasquez, Luke Babbitt

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) shoots a three-point shot at the buzzer as New Orleans Hornets forward Ryan Anderson, left, defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. Lillard sank the shot to win the game 95-94. Watching at right are the Hornets’ Greivis Vasquez, right, from Venezuela, and Trail Blazers forward Luke Babbitt.(AP Photo/Don Ryan)

AP

This was not an easy shot.

Blazers rookie Damian Lillard continued his impressive start to the season, this time draining the game-winning shot from beyond three-point distance to give his team the 95-94 home victory over the Hornets.

It would have been a shame for Portland to waste its win against the Spurs on Thursday by giving one away against New Orleans, but after seeing a 12-point fourth quarter lead disappear entirely, that was a very real possibility.

It was all tied at 92 with 4.2 seconds remaining, with the Blazers taking the ball out of bounds. Lillard inbounded to Luke Babbitt, who handed it back to Lillard behind the three-point arc as the clock began to wind down.

Lillard used Babbitt’s screen, but Ryan Anderson stepped out to contest, yet somehow Lillard was able to get a sight line to the basket, before launching the shot attempt over Anderson that looked good as soon as it left his hands.

This wasn’t one of Lillard’s better games, as he finished with just 16 points on 5-of-14 shooting, while Anderson led all scorers with 26 points. But the rookie won out on the night’s final meaningful play, and it resulted in the third straight win for the Blazers.