Lillard shines as Blazers rip OKC Thunder; Celtics win

Los Angeles—Damian Lillard drained three clutch three-pointers in four possessions in the final quarter Tuesday, and the red-hot Portland Trail Blazers held on to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 115-104 for their fifth consecutive NBA win. 

Lillard shines as Blazers rip OKC Thunder; Celtics win
Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers drives to the basket during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder  at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. AFP

Lillard finished with 31 points for the Blazers, who charged out to a 24 point lead in the third quarter but allowed the Thunder back in it.

Lillard drained the first of his three threes with just over four minutes left in the final quarter as he and Gary Trent combined to score 12 unanswered points to extend the Blazers win streak to five straight games at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma.

Lillard scored 14 of his 31 in the fourth quarter as Portland made 20 baskets from beyond the arc.

Trent added 19 points and Enes Kanter had a game-high 21 rebounds. 

Luguentz Dort delivered 23 points and Hamidou Diallo came off the bench to score 17 for the Thunder, who took the lead halfway through the fourth after holding Portland to two-of-13 shooting to begin the final quarter. 

In Boston, Jaylen Brown scored 27 points, Jayson Tatum had 21 points  eight assists, and the Boston Celtics fended off a 43-point performance by Nikola Jokic to beat the under-manned Denver Nuggets 112-99. 

Kemba Walker added 17 points for the Celtics, who have lost four of their last five contests. 

Jamal Murray, of Canada, had 25 points and Facundo Campazzo added 15 in his first start for the Nuggets. Murray also had nine turnovers.

Also, Zion Williamson finished with 31 points as the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 144-113 to salvage the final contest of a four-game road swing.

New Orleans seized control by holding the Grizzlies to just 49 points in the second and third quarters.

Reserve Josh Hart score a season-high 27 points and Willy Hernangomez had 14 as the Pelicans’ reserves outscored the Grizzlies’ bench 57-30. 

Brandon Ingram scored 22 and Lonzo Ball had 13 in the win.

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