Lillard, McCollum help Blazers hold off Magic, 95-88
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 16, 2017 10:45 AM
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)
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Damian Lillard scored 21 points, C.J. McCollum had 20 and the Portland Trail Blazers withstood a late rally to beat the Orlando Magic 95-88 on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time).
The Trail Blazers led by 17 with 7:26 left in the game, but needed late contributions from Al-Farouq Aminu and Jusuf Nurkic to slam the door. Aminu had 15 points and got a breakaway dunk with 23 seconds to play to seal the game. Nurkic had nine points and 11 rebounds.
Nikola Vucevic led Orlando with 26 points and 14 rebounds. Johnathon Simmons added 15 points and D.J. Augustin had 14.
Aaron Gordon, who was returning to the Magic lineup after missing two games with a concussion, limped off the court with 7:45 left in the game and the Magic trailing 85-69. He strained his calf after colliding with Trail Blazers rookie Zach Collins.
Each team made a big run in the fourth quarter, but one negated the other. Portland scored 11 straight to push take an 86-69 lead with 7:26 to play
Orlando responded by scoring 12 straight points, the last basket a layup by Vucevic that made it 86-81 with just over three minutes to go.
The teams traded baskets the rest of the way, with Orlando never getting closer than five. Aminu settled the matter with an uncontested dunk.
Lillard had 13 points in the third quarter when Portland slipped away from the Magic. The Trail Blazers point guard was too quick for Orlando's Elfrid Payton and created all four of his field goals off the dribble and got Payton to foul him on a three-pointer.
That helped the Trail Blazers build a 69-52 advantage on a layup by Evan Turner with 5.5 minutes left in the period.
Vucevic started dominating in the paint to help the Magic cut the deficit to 75-69 early in the final period, before Portland's run to push the lead back into double digits.
TRAIL BLAZERS: Aminu is 18-of-31 on three-pointers in his last five games. ... Nurkic returned after missing three games with an ankle sprain. He played 25 minutes. ... Portland gave up 113.4 points during its recent five-game losing streak, but has held its last two opponents under 100, both wins.
MAGIC: The Magic haven't won a game this season (0-9) when they score less than 100 points. ... Rookie Johnathan Isaac practiced Thursday (Friday. PHL time), but was held out of the game by team doctors. Isaac has missed 17 games with an ankle injury. ... Evan Fournier (ankle), Terrence Ross (knee) and Aaron Afflalo (back) were inactive.
TRAIL BLAZERS: At Charlotte on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time).
MAGIC: At Detroit on Sunday (Monday, PHL time) to face former coach Stan Van Gundy.