Lillard scores 25 as Trail Blazers beat Clippers 116-105
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard had 25 points and the Portland Trail Blazers won their third straight game, 116-105 over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.
CJ McCollum added 23 points for Portland, which has won six of seven.
Danilo Gallinari and Lou Williams each scored 20 for the Clippers. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a career-high 19.
Portland had struggled all night to separate from the Clippers, but pulled in front 93-83 on Zach Collins’ dunk with 9:42 left. Another dunk by Collins put the Blazers up 100-90 with 6:10 to go.
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The Clippers closed to 107-101 on Gallinari’s jumper, but Jusuf Nurkic answered for Portland with a layup and Los Angeles could not get any closer down the stretch.
There were questions before the game about the availability of Clippers forward Tobias Harris because of illness. Coach Doc Rivers said Harris was a game-time decision, but he was ultimately in the starting lineup.
Harris, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, finished with 15 points and 11 boards for his fifth double-double this season.
The Clippers were without Avery Bradley for the second straight game because of a left ankle sprain, and Luc Mbah a Moute missed his seventh game with a sore left knee.
The Clippers missed Bradley’s perimeter defense against Lillard and McCollum.
Portland was without Maurice Harkless, who has missed seven straight games because of a sore left knee. Jake Layman has been starting in his place.
The Blazers led 37-28 after the first quarter, paced by McCollum’s 10 points. Portland never could extend the lead to double digits and led just 61-57 at the break. Gilgeous-Alexander and Montrezl Harrell each had 12 first-half points for the Clippers, while Lillard led all scorers with 14.
Al-Farouq Aminu hit a 3-pointer that gave Portland a 78-68 lead, its largest to that point, midway through the third quarter. The Clippers narrowed it again, closing to 81-77 on Harris’ driving floater.
Nurkic fouled out with 1:57 left, finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds.
Clippers: The team put out a statement of sympathy for victims of the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, on Wednesday night. Thousand Oaks is located northwest of Los Angeles. … The Clippers were coming off a 120-109 win at home over Minnesota.
Trail Blazers: The club held a moment of silence for victims of the shooting in California. … Portland was coming off a 118-103 win at home over Milwaukee on Tuesday. … The Blazers have won the last four meetings between the teams. … Lillard did not shoot a free throw.
The Clippers host the Bucks on Saturday.
The Trail Blazers host the Celtics on Sunday night.
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