NBA: Lillard's 61-point masterpiece gives Blazers crucial win over Mavs


Posted at Aug 12 2020 09:28 AM | Updated as of Aug 12 2020 10:21 AM

(UPDATED) Damian Lillard tied his career-high with 61 points, and the Portland Trail Blazers claimed a crucial 134-131 triumph over the Dallas Mavericks in their seventh game of the NBA restart, Tuesday in Orlando (US time).

Lillard made 17 of his 32 attempts, including nine three-pointers, and added eight assists as the Blazers improved to 5-2 inside the bubble.

With the victory, Portland moves up to the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference and now controls their playoff destiny, with just one seeding game left in their schedule.

Memphis, which lost earlier in the day to Boston, drops to the ninth seed. Phoenix, still unbeaten in the NBA restart, is at No. 10 and San Antonio is at No. 11. With all four teams having just one seeding game left, the race for the No. 8 seed will go down the wire.

Lillard did everything he could to make sure that Portland would have an advantage in the race. The All-Star guard was unstoppable in the fourth quarter, with his long-range bomb with 90 seconds to go knotting the count at 130.

The basket -- which saw the ball bounce high above the backboard before dropping -- gave Lillard 61 points. It was his third 60-point game of the season.

After Kristaps Porzingis committed a turnover in Dallas' next possession, Lillard assisted on a Hassan Whiteside dunk to give Portland the lead for good, 132-130.

Luka Doncic flubbed an opportunity to tie the game when he made just one of two free throws. Lillard then showed that he could also get it done on the other end, drawing a charge from Trey Burke with 4.5 seconds to go.

A pair of free throws from CJ McCollum pegged the final score with 3.9 seconds left. The Mavericks still had a chance to force an extension, but Tim Hardaway Jr. misfired on a triple in their final possession.

Carmelo Anthony was Portland's next-leading scorer with 26 points. He also had eight rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

Despite the loss, Dallas is already assured of the seventh seed in the Western Conference.

Porzingis had 36 points to lead the Mavs, while Doncic finished with 25 points, 10 assists, and eight rebounds. Hardaway Jr. had 24 points. 

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