Damian Lillard's Dagger Tops Lakers

posted by Chad Doing -

------ Damian Lillard swishes the game-winning three-pointer as the Portland Trail Blazers top the Los Angeles Lakers 113-110.

One night after failing to deliver in the clutch at Utah, Damian Lillard redeemed himself by hitting the game-winning three-pointer with 0.7 seconds remaining to lift the Trail Blazers to a 113-110 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night at Moda Center.

The final minute of the game was gut-wrenching for Blazers fans before Lillard's game-winner. Jusuf Nurkic nailed two free throws with 18 seconds remaining to give Portland a three-point lead at 110-107, but the Lakers responded quickly on a three-pointer from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope with 15.5 seconds remaining on the clock to tie the game at 110-110.

The Lakers had one more chance to tie the game after Lillard's three-pointer, but Kyle Kuzma's shot at the buzzer came up just short preserving the win for Portland.

Los Angeles (3-5) got 27 points from Brook Lopez and 22 points off the bench from Kyle Kuzma. The Lakers scored 56 points in the paint and connected on 54.4% of their field goals, but the Blazers won the rebounding battle with a 41-32 edge including a 12-4 advantage in 2nd chance points.

Portland (5-4) got a huge night from their big three of Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Nurkic. Lillard scored 32 points and Nurkic had his best game of the season with 28 points, five rebounds, and five assists while McCollum added 22 points and five assists.

Injury update- Al-Farouq Aminu will be out for 2-3 weeks with a sprained right ankle. Noah Vonleh started in place of Aminu tonight against the Lakers.

Next up- Portland will get two days to rest before hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday night at Moda Center. Game is scheduled to tip off at 6:00 PM.

Chad's Take- The Big Three is back! Jusuf Nurkic had his best game of the season with 28 points, five rebounds, and five assists while Dame and CJ combined for 54 points including Lillard's game-winning three-pointer. This is the type of balance the Blazers need on offense in order to have success. I credit Dame and CJ for making an effort the last two games to get Nurkic involved in the offense early. The one concern coming away from the win is defense. The Blazers played solid defense for one quarter but lost their intensity and focus allowing the Lakers to get back into the game after trailing by 18 points early in the second quarter. They must make a daily commitment to being a good defensive team. Much work is needed in this area as they move forward. And, it was nice to see the Blazers execute in the clutch after miscues cost them three games against the Bucks, Clippers, and Jazz.

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