----- Damian Lillard scored 20 of his game-high 41 points in the fourth quarter as the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 107-103 Tuesday night at Smoothie King Center.
The Trail Blazers took a big step towards locking up the third seed in the Western Conference playoff chase with a 107-103 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA.
Damian Lillard scored 20 of his game-high 41 points in the fourth quarter connecting on his first six shots and sealing the win with two free throws with just 1.3 seconds remaining. Jusuf Nurkic scored 10 of his 21 points in the third quarter to go along with 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.
With the win, Portland (46-28) is now 2.5 games ahead of Oklahoma City for third in the Western Conference playoff standings. The Blazers are 15-2 in their last 17 games and are guaranteed no worse than a .500 record on the road by getting their 21st win away from the home on Tuesday night.
After the game, Lillard boarded a plane to return to Portland for the birth of his first son, Damian Jr. He will not play in Wednesday's game at Memphis. Maurice Harkless was on the same flight with Lillard back to Portland. He missed Tuesday's game against the Pelicans due to soreness in his left knee. He is going to have surgery to remove a "loose body" from his knee. No timetable has been set for his return.
NEXT UP- The Trail Blazers will play the second of a back-to-back tomorrow in Memphis against the Grizzlies. The game is scheduled to tip off at 5:00 PM.
Chad's Take- I love the 2017-2018 Trail Blazers!