------ Damian Lillard scores 36 points and dished out 13 assists as the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-99 Sunday night at Moda Center.
Damian Lillard followed up his game-winning three-pointer against the Lakers on Thursday with another masterpiece on Sunday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Lillard tied a season-high with 36 points and he dished out 13 assists.
Lillard came up big for the Blazers all night. He got the offense going early in the first quarter with six points and seven assists and added 14 points in the third quarter. In the fourth, Lillard hit a driving layup to put the Blazers up by four at 98-94 and he iced the game with two free throws.
The controversy of the evening came with 4:26 left in the third quarter. Carmelo Anthony drove into the lane and finished at the rim but caught Jusuf Nurkic in the head with an elbow. After a review, the officials determined the contact warranted a flagrant two foul and Anthony was ejected from the game. Anthony played just 23 minutes on the night and finished with 15 points.
Portland (6-4) had another great performance by the Big 3. CJ McCollum scored 22 points and Jusuf Nurkic dominated the paint finishing with 25 points and pulled down eight rebounds. 83 of Portland's 103 points were scored by Lillard, McCollum, and Nurkic.
The Blazers committed a season-high in turnovers with 23, but they had a 48-38 advantage in the paint and they won the rebounding battle 44-32.
Oklahoma City (4-5) got 27 points from Paul George and Russell Westbrook finished with 25 points, six rebounds, and nine assists. Former Blazer, Raymond Felton led the Thunder off the bench with 15 points.
Next up- The Trail Blazers host the Memphis Grizzlies Tuesday night at Moda Center. Game is scheduled to tip off at 7:00 PM.
Chad's Take- This was a quality win for the Blazers. Damian Lillard was special. He finished with 36 but more importantly 13 assists. Lillard was aggressive early attacking the rim and finding teammates for buckets. He set the tone with his play and both CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic responded. Nurkic is out of his early season slump. He finished with 25 points and 8 rebounds pushing his average in the last three games to 24 points and 8 rebounds. When the big 3 are dominating action like they did tonight, the Blazers are a tough team to beat. Portland controlled the paint and they won the rebounding battle. The one problem was turnovers. The Blazers turned it over 23 times and it nearly cost them the game. They must do a better job protecting the basketball.