Lillard stars as Portland hit back in golden style
Blazers cut series deficit against the reigning NBA champions
The Trail Blazers learned their lesson. After Portland let the previous game slip away, Damian Lillard had a play-off best 40 points as the Trail Blazers beat Golden State 120-108 to cut the Warriors’ advantage in the Western Conference NBA semi-final to 2-1.
The defending NBA champions were still without Steph Curry, the reigning MVP who sprained his right knee in game four of the firstround series against Houston.
“I think we played a lot smarter down the stretch than we did the last game, and we challenged them,” said Lillard (pictured). “Last game, I think, we played good and then we let up a little bit, and they turned it on - like championship teams do. “We didn’t allow that to happen, we kept doing what was working for us.” The Warriors travel to Portland in game four tomorrow (6.30am UAE) and Draymond Green, who scored 37 points in game three, knows it will be tough. “Now they’re feeling like they can do it,” Green said about the Blazers.
“We know otherwise. You can expect game to be a battle.”
In Miami, Kyle Lowry got his game back at the perfect time to help the Toronto Raptors to a 95-91 win and a 2-1 lead in their series against the Heat, who are in all kinds of trouble.
Shaking off epic play-off struggles, Lowry scored 33 points - including five straight - in a duel with Dwyane Wade to lift Toronto to victory. “I felt like it was just a matter of time,” said Lowry.