Lillard has 44, Blazers overcome Durant’s 50 to beat Warriors
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard said it may have been Portland’s best win of the season.
Lillard had 44 points and eight assists, and the Trail Blazers overcame Kevin Durant’s 50 points to snap a sevengame losing streak to the Golden State Warriors with a 123-117 victory on Wednesday night.
CJ McCollum added 29 points for the Blazers (32-26), who go into the All-Star break six games over .500.
“Going into the break, how tight the standings are in the West, needing to come up with a big win, and we came up with it. So it’s probably our best performance, if not the best then definitely top two or top three,” said Lillard, who has scored 133 points in the last three games, the highest point total for that span in franchise history.
Lillard is also the first player in the league this season with at least 39 points in three straight games.
Portland spoiled Durant’s fifth career 50-point game and first this season. He
added seven rebounds and six assists, but despite his efforts Golden State had its three-game winning streak snapped and fell a half-game behind Houston for the league’s best record.
The Blazers led by as many as 20 points in the first half but Stephen Curry’s 3-pointer tied it at 99 with 7:10 left.
The Warriors couldn’t get ahead and Lillard’s 3-pointer put Portland up 109-101 with 5:05 to play.
Durant’s 3-pointer closed Golden State to 114-111 but McCollum got a 3 for the Blazers on the other end with 2:15 left. Durant’s reverse layup and a pair of free throws cut the margin to 117-115 before Evan Turner’s free throws padded the lead for Portland.
The teams traded free throws before Durant nailed a 3-pointer — but the officials said he stepped out of bounds. After review the call was confirmed and the Warriors (44-14) couldn’t catch up.
“It was obviously kind of a signature win for us this year so far,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “We knew we were going to have to score points to have a chance to beat them and we made a lot of good plays. Dame was terrific from the start.”
Durant said the Warriors need to have more of a sense of urgency.
“Teams get up to play us. They want to beat us, and they give us their best,” Durant said. “Some guys are going to have great nights against us. They did tonight.”
Portland had lost four of its last six, including a 115-96 loss to the surging Utah Jazz on Sunday night.
Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic left that game and was listed as questionable against the Warriors with low back soreness, a right calf strain, and right oblique pain. But he started and finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds.