Lillard powers Portland over Mavs; Beal nets 35 to lead Wiz

Washington—Damian Lillard delivered 34 points and 11 assists as the Blazers withstood a 44-point performance from Luka Doncic to edge the Dallas Mavericks 121-118 in the first game of a three-game road trip.

Lillard powers Portland over Mavs; Beal nets 35 to lead Wiz
Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks drives to the basket while Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers plays defense during the game at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. AFP

Lillard made a clutch three-pointer with less than a minute to go after Dallas had gone on a 12-0 run to climb back into the contest on Sunday. 

“I think we earned this win,” said Lillard. “We played the kind of game we played, against what we’ve been up against through the game, it’s rewarding in the end.”

Gary Trent scored 17 points and Carmelo Anthony notched 15 off the bench for the Trail Blazers who stretched their winning streak to four games.

Kristaps Porzingis scored 18 points for the Mavericks, who had their four game win streak snapped in front of 2,200 Texas fans at the American Airlines Center. 

“It didn’t matter if I felt confident or not,” Doncic said of his final shot. “I thought it was in. It went in and out, so I was disappointed and that’s on me. I should have hit the shot.”

Elsewhere, NBA scoring leader Bradley Beal poured in 35 points to spark the Washington Wizards over the Boston Celtics 104-91, delivering a rare home victory for what had been the league’s second-worst squad.

Beal went 10-of-18 from the floor, 4-of-9 from 3-point range, and 11-of-11 from the free throw line while the Wizards grabbed a season-best 54 rebounds and kept Boston to 32-of-90 shooting.

Japanese forward Rui Hachimura scored 15 points while Russell Westbrook had 13 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds for the Wizards, who improved to 7-17 overall but remained the NBA’s worst team at home at 3-9.

Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker each scored 25 points to lead the Celtics, who fell to fifth in the East at 13-13. Jayson Tatum, a boyhood pal of Beal, had only six points on 3-of-14 shooing.

“It’s always a battle. Jayson is a superstar,” Beal said. “You always have to bring it. The mental has to be there. It always feels good to get a win.”

Westbrook will face his former club, the Houston Rockets, on Monday, when former Wizards star John Wall returns to the US capital.

“We’ve got John coming in. You know they are going to be riled up,” Beal said. “They got the best of us down there, so we’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Beal scored seven points in Washington’s 15-8 run to start the game, with Boston opening 2-of-9 from the floor. 

Beal, who began 5-of-5 then missed his next six shots from the floor, had 12 in the first quarter as the Wizards opened a 29-22 edge. AFP

Washington seized a 55-43 halftime edge, matching the fewest first-half points the Wizards had allowed all season.

An 11-0 run sparked by six points from Hachimura gave Washington a 77-53 edge. The Celtics responded with an 11-1 run but the Wizards ended the third quarter with an 11-3 spurt for an 89-67 advantage.

Washington lifted the lead as large as 101-76 and cruised to the finish.

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