Lillard has 26 points to lead Blazers over Magic 99-94
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 16, 2017 01:31 PM
FILE - PORTLAND, OR - OCTOBER 24: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers is introduced before the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on October 24, 2017 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.(Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
By Anne M. Peterson, Associated Press
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard had 26 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, and the Portland Trail Blazers handed the Orlando Magic their third straight loss, 99-94 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time).
CJ McCollum had 24 points, Shabazz Napier added a season-high 19 and Portland finished 4-2 on its six-game homestand. Napier was 5-for-5 from three-point range.
Evan Fournier led the Magic with 22 points. Nikola Vucevic had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The Magic trailed by 11 points during the third quarter, but Fournier’s three-pointer put the Magic up 81-80 with 6:52 left in the game. Portland reclaimed the lead on consecutive baskets from Jusuf Nurkic and Maurice Harkless.
McCollum’s three-pointer extended the Blazers’ lead to 87-83 with 4:30 to go. After Napier’s three-pointer, McCollum added another, and the Blazers led 95-86 with 1:43 left. Orlando couldn’t catch up.
The Magic were playing the last of a four-game road trip. Orlando went into the game with two straight losses, including 110-100 at Golden State on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time).
The Blazers were coming off a confidence-boosting 99-82 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) that snapped a two-game skid. Portland’s offense had been stagnant, especially in close games.
Blazers coach Terry Stotts tweaked the starting lineup, inserting rookie Caleb Swanigan, who made his second straight start. But after playing just five minutes in the first half, Pat Connaughton started the second and the Blazers went with a three guard lineup.
Orlando was without D.J. Augustin (left hamstring) for the seventh straight game and Jonathan Isaac (right ankle) for the second game.
The Magic jumped out to a 13-3 lead, prompting Stotts to take a timeout. But Portland was hurt by turnovers and couldn’t get its offense going.
The Magic stretched the lead to 38-26 early in the second quarter on Jonathan Simmons’ layup. But the Blazers found their shot and ended the half on a 17-0 run, capped by McCollum’s driving layup, to lead 51-47 at the break. McCollum led all scorers at halftime with 16 points.
The two teams both scored 24 points in the third quarter, and Portland led 75-51 going into the final period. Shelvin Mack made consecutive baskets to pull the Magic within 79-78.
Magic: Fournier has scored in double figures a team-high 14 times this season. ... Simmons went into the game ranked fourth in the NBA for scorers off the bench, averaging 15.1 points.
Trail Blazers: Lillard passed Mychal Thompson (9,215 points) for eighth on the team’s all-time scoring list. ... Al-Farouq Aminu missed his sixth game with a right ankle injury.
Magic: Orlando returns home to host the Utah Jazz on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time).
Blazers: Having wrapped up a six-game homestand, Portland visits the Sacramento Kings on Friday (Saturday, PHL time).