Lillard scores 61 in huge win
Damian Lillard tied his career high with 61 points, willing the Trail Blazers to a 134131 victory against the Mavericks on Tuesday in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The win moves the Trail Blazers (34-39) into eighth place in the Western Conference, and they will clinch a spot in the play-in series with a win Thursday against the Nets. The Grizzlies (33-39), Suns (33-39) and Spurs (32-38) are all lumped together just behind Portland.
Lillard made nine three-pointers in his sixth 50-point game of the season. He’s the 12th player in NBA history to score 50 points in back-to-back games after scoring 51 on Sunday against the 76ers.
Giannis tossed for head-butt
Giannis Antetokounmpo was ejected in the second quarter of the Bucks’ 126-113 victory against the Wizards after head-butting Moritz Wagner. Wagner took a charge from Antetokounmpo, who didn’t like the call in what had become a physical game. During a break in the action with Milwaukee challenging the call, Antetokounmpo approached Wagner and started jabbering at him before headbutting him. It was his third career ejection.
The Bucks already have clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
In other action
Devin Booker scored 35 points and the Suns protected their playoff hopes by beating the 76ers 130-117, to remain undefeated (7-0) in the NBA restart. Booker became the Suns’ career leader with his 91st 30-point game, breaking a tie with Walter Davis.
Keldon Johnson had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and the Spurs kept alive their chance of becoming the first team in NBA history to make 23 consecutive playoff appearances with a 123-105 victory against the Rockets, who played without guards James Harden (rest) and Eric Gordon (ankle).
Jeremiah Martin and Timothe LuwawuCabarrot each scored 24 points in the Nets’ 108-96 victory against the Magic. The Nets are locked into the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference and the Magic are eighth.