NBA Roundup: Lilard scores 50 points as Portland seals dramatic win over the Pelicans; Lakers win streak continues

Damian Lillard capped a season-best 50-point effort to help the Portland Trail Blazers rally from a 17-point, fourth-quarter deficit to post a dramatic 125-124 home win over the high-flying New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night.

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Lillard achieved his half-century of points on just 20 shot attempts and he also managed 10 assists on the night. He was fouled by Eric Bledsoe before making both free-throws to post his 12th career 50-point effort while New Orleans Zion Williamson saw his short bank shot bounce off the rim as time expired.

Brandon Ingram scored 30 points and Williamson added 28 points and a career-best eight assists for the Pelicans as Lonzo Ball also contributed a career-best 17 assists and scored 11 points.

Gary Trent Jr. scored 22 points for Portland while his teammate, CJ McCollum, who just returned from an injury layoff scored 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting in 26 minutes having missed the previous 25 games.

 

Portland, which made all 31 of its free throws, trailed 117-100 with 5:56 left before making its late dash.

Lillard and Robert Covington sank 3-pointers with another made layup by Lillard followed by an additional two free throws by Trent Jr. cut the deficit to seven. Trent Jr. and Lillard added 3-pointers as the Trail Blazers pulled within 117-116 with 2:41 left.

Bledsoe also nailed a 3-pointer with 2:20 left as New Orleans halted a drought of more than 3 1/2 minutes. Williamson added two baskets, the second giving the Pelicans a 124-121 lead with 41.4 seconds remaining.

However, Brandon Ingram missed two free throws with 7.2 seconds left before Lillard was fouled and went on to make both free throws to bring Portland within one with 5.2 seconds remaining.

Minnesota Timberwolves 121 – 137 Los Angeles Lakers

NBA Roundup

LeBron James recorded a second consecutive triple-double to reach 99 in his career, delivering the Los Angeles Lakers to a staggering 137-121 victory over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves.

James and Montrezl Harrell led six players in double figures with 25 points apiece as the Lakers completed a back-to-back sweep after seeing off the Golden State Warriors 128-97 in San Francisco on Monday.

Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards held the Timberwolves down with matching game-highs of 29 points.

James, who had only three triple-doubles in his first 37 games this season, followed up Monday’s 22-point, 10-rebound, 11-assist effort with 25 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists.

His career-best run has been a three-gamer, compiled three times, most recently in November 2019.

With 99 career triple-doubles, James moved within one of becoming just the fifth in NBA history to reach 100. Those who have achieved the milestone ahead of him are Oscar Robertson (181), Russell Westbrook (157), Magic Johnson (138), and Jason Kidd (107).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0Czgjaa8iY

Tuesday night’s NBA results

  • Utah Jazz 117 – 109 Boston Celtics
  • Atlanta Hawks 119 – 107 Houston Rockets
  • Cleveland Cavaliers 98 – 113 Miami Heat
  • New York Knicks 96 – 99 Philadelphia 76ers
  • Oklahoma City Thunder 102 – 123 Chicago Bulls
  • New Orleans Pelicans 124 – 125 Portland Trail Blazers
  • Minnesota Timberwolves 121 – 137 Los Angeles Lakers
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