Lillard has 44, Blazers overcome Durant's 50, beat Warriors
ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 15, 2018 02:26 PM
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, drives past Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)
By Anne M. Peterson, Associated Press
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard had 44 points and eight assists, and the Portland Trail Blazers overcame Kevin Durant's 50 points to snap a seven-game losing streak to the Golden State Warriors with a 123-117 victory on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time).
CJ McCollum added 29 points for the Blazers, who go into the All-Star break six games over .500 (32-26).
Durant added seven rebounds and six assists, but Golden State had its three-game winning streak snapped. It was Durant's fifth career 50-point game and first this season.
The Blazers led by as many as 20 points in the first half but the Warriors got within a point in the third quarter. Klay Thompson's three-pointer narrowed it to 99-96 before Stephen Curry's triple tied it at 99 with 7:10 left.
The Warriors couldn't get ahead and Lillard's three-pointer put Portland ahead 109-101 with 5:05 to play.
Durant's three-pointer closed Golden State within 114-111 but McCollum got a three for the Blazers on the other end with 2:15 left. Durant's reverse layup and a pair of free throws cut the margin to 117-115 before Evan Turner's free throws padded the lead for Portland.
The teams traded free throws before Durant nailed a three-pointer — but the officials said he stepped out of bounds. After review the call was confirmed and the Warriors (44-14) couldn't catch up.
Portland had lost four of its last six, including a 115-96 loss to the surging Utah Jazz on Sunday night.
Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic left the game against the Jazz and was listed as questionable against the Warriors with low back soreness, a right calf strain, and right oblique pain. But he started and finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Golden State's Draymond Green was also questionable with a sprained left index finger, but he started, too.
Portland jumped out to a 19-8 lead after Lillard hit a pair of three-pointers and McCollum added another one. Lillard's layup extended the Blazers' lead to 38-18.
Lillard finished the first quarter with 18 points. Portland led 63-51 at the half.
Durant made a three-pointer and a free throw to narrow the score to 74-73 in the third quarter, his second four-point play of the game. It was as close as the Warriors could get in the quarter and Portland led 92-87 going into the final period. Durant had 18 points in the third quarter alone.
Warriors: Warriors coach Steve Kerr was asked before the game if he's still feeling mentally fried. "No, I'm going to Hawaii tomorrow," he said. ... It was Golden State's first game on Valentine's Day since 2007. They had won five straight on the holiday.
Trail Blazers: Lillard was presented with his All-Star jersey before the game. It will be Lillard's third All-Star Game. ... Former Blazer Bill Walton was part of the television broadcasting team, but during a few timeouts he joined the stunt team in tossing T-shirts to the crowd.
Kerr spoke before the game about Wednesday's (Thursday, PHL time) school shooting in Florida.
"Nothing has been done. It doesn't seem to matter to our government that children are being shot to death day after day in schools. It doesn't matter that people are being shot at a concert, movie theater. It's not enough apparently to move our leadership, our government, the people who are running this country, to actually do anything. That's demoralizing. But we can do something about it: We can vote people in who actually have the courage to protect people's lives and not just bow down to the NRA because they financed their campaign for them. Hopefully we'll find enough people, first of all, to vote good people in, but hopefully we can find enough people with courage to actually help our citizens remain safe and focus on the real safety issues, not building some stupid wall for billions of dollars that has nothing to do with our safety, but actually protecting us from what truly is dangerous, which is maniacs with semi-automatic weapons just slaughtering our children. It's disgusting."
Warriors: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 22 (Feb. 23, PHL time).
Trail Blazers: Visit Utah on Feb. 23 (Feb. 24, PHL time).