Lillard's layup after Suns turnover gives Portland victory
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) celebrates with Ed Davis (17) after hitting the game-winning shot against the Phoenix Suns in an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in Phoenix. The Trail Blazers defeated the Suns 106-104. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
By Bob Baum, AP Sports Writer
PHOENIX (AP) — Damian Lillard scored 40 points, the last two on a driving, left-handed layup with nine-tenths of a second to play, and the Portland Trail Blazers rallied from 15 down in the final 7.5 minutes to beat Phoenix 106-104, the Suns' ninth straight loss.
Lillard, who scored 19 points in the fourth quarter, got the final chance because Phoenix's Troy Daniels couldn't get the ball inbounds on a five-second call that turned possession over to Portland with 20.6 seconds to play.
Devin Booker scored 30 points for the Suns, losers of 14 of their last 15.
His two free throws gave Phoenix its biggest lead, 93-78, with 7:26 to play. Lillard triggered the subsequent 18-4 outburst that caught the Suns at 97-97 on his three-point play. Booker's fifth and final three-pointer gave the Suns a 100-97 lead with 2:19 to go. Lillard's triple tied it at 100 with 1:10 left.
Booker's powerful driving basket put Phoenix up 104-102 with 33.6 seconds to go. But, after a timeout, Lillard's step-back 15-footer tied it at 104-104 with 28 seconds left. The Suns called time out to set up the play but, on the sidelines, Daniels couldn't get the ball inbounds for the five-second call.
The Blazers, coming off a win at Utah the previous night, have won three straight and 5-of-6.
The game was tied 10 times before Portland finished the first half with a 7-2 spurt take a 55-50 lead at the break.
But the Suns turned it on in the third quarter, outscoring the cold-shooting Blazers 31-16. Portland scored the first five of the second half to take its biggest lead, 60-50. But Phoenix overwhelmed the Trail Blazers 29-5 to go up 79-65 on Booker's three.
Trail Blazers: Swept the season series with Phoenix for the first time since the 1998-99 season. ... It's Portland's first seven-game winning streak against the Suns since 1987-88. ... Blazers were 3-of-22 on three's through three quarters, finished season-worst 6-of-30.
Suns: Rookie Josh Jackson drew his eighth technical of the season. .... C Tyson Chandler (neck) was out for the third straight game and fifth in last six. ... Last time the teams met, in Portland on Jan. 16 (Jan. 17, PHL time), Booker scored 43 — third-highest of his career.
Trail Blazers: Host Sacramento on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time).
Suns: At New Orleans on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time).